BNP calls in Brunswick for major takeover bid

Brunswick has been hired to help French bank Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) in its fight to take over rival banks Paribas and Societe Generale.

Brunswick has been hired to help French bank Banque Nationale de

Paris (BNP) in its fight to take over rival banks Paribas and Societe

Generale.



If it succeeds, the three-way merger would create France’s largest

banking group.



The agency’s PR work in the UK and key European markets will include

defending BNP against a legal challenge to the takeover, launched by

Paribas and Societe Generale last weekend. The two banks announced a

friendly merger earlier this year which is threatened by BNP’s move.



Brunswick partner Lucas Van Praag will head the account, reporting both

to BNP chief executive Michel Pebereau and communications director

Antoine Sire.



Brunswick will work alongside Hill and Knowlton, which was appointed on

a retainer to raise BNP’s profile in the international and UK media last

November, before the bid for Paribas and Societe Generale was

announced.



H&K’s account leader is Elizabeth Ballard, a director in its corporate

and consumer financial service division.



The two agencies’ briefs have not been demarcated yet. They are expected

to act as an integrated team, although Brunswick is likely to be more

focused on investor relations.



On Paribas’ and Societe Generale’s side is Citigate Dewe Rogerson, which

has a long-standing project-based relationship with Paribas. Citigate

Dewe Rogerson was hired to act for the banks earlier this year.



Paribas and Societe Generale have rejected BNP’s bid and are defending

the benefits of their proposed merger to shareholders. In the latest

move, the two filed a motion with the Paris appeals court to challenge a

decision by French markets regulator the Conseil des Marches Financiers

to allow the bid to go through.



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