NEWS: Shandwick looks to strengthen its ties with India

Shandwick is in talks with the Indian PR agency Corporate Voice with a view to taking an equity stake in the firm of up to 40 per cent.

Shandwick is in talks with the Indian PR agency Corporate Voice with a

view to taking an equity stake in the firm of up to 40 per cent.



If the deal goes ahead, it will be Shandwick’s first equity purchase

since 1991 when it bought the Northern Irish PR firm Causeway. Terms are

likely to be agreed in the next few months.



Corporate Voice, based in Bangalore and with offices in Bombay and New

Delhi, is owned by the communications group MAA. Shandwick has had an

affilitate relationship with the agency for the past year, but the

Indian firm wants to formalise the link with an ownership element.



Corporate Voice president Shivanand Reddy said before the affiliate

relationship with Shandwick, his agency had been linked with Edelman.

‘Our experience has been that affiliate relationships don’t work and we

are looking for an equity partnership. That would bring more commitment

and credibility.’



Corporate Voice was established in 1986 by MAA founder and chairman

Bunty Peerbhoy. Last month the UK media buying group Chris Ingram

Associates, where Shandwick chairman Peter Gummer was formerly a non-

executive director, announced its intention to take a 30 per cent stake

in MAA’s media buying arm, Optima.



Shandwick UK managing director Colin Trusler said: ‘Corporate Voice is

our affiliate in India. We’ve been in discussions with them for some

time about a deeper relationship; those talks are still going on.’



Feature, p10.



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