Omnicom buys up Fleishman-Hillard

Omnicom this week confirmed its position as the world’s largest supplier of PR services with the acquistion of the sixth-largest firm Fleishman-Hillard.

Omnicom this week confirmed its position as the world’s largest

supplier of PR services with the acquistion of the sixth-largest firm

Fleishman-Hillard.



An announcement was expected as PR Week went to press on Wednesday.



The deal, worth between dollars 85 million and dollars 100 million, will

see F-H combined with one of Omnicom’s existing PR networks, the

fourth-largest firm Porter Novelli International, under the umbrella of

an as-yet-unamed holding company.



John Graham, chairman and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard and the largest of

its 550 employee shareholders, will be chairman and CEO of the new

company.



It is understood the top management of Porter Novelli will also have

senior management positions.



Both firms have other acqusitions in the pipeline which, according to

Omnicom president John Wren, will take combined fee income to in excess

of dollars 250 million making it the world’s largest PR firm.



It is understood the plan is to keep both brands separate although some

offices may be merged.



Wren confirmed this was under discussion but that the ’form of it and

the brands that are going to be involved in it are not yet

determined’.



He added: ’this is not about being the biggest - we have to come up with

a new paradigm that allows entrepreneurs in both organisations the same

opportunities for growth and succss that they had before’.



The move was said to be prompted by F-H’s desire to gain access to

capital to fund expansion. An earlier plan to float on the New York

exchange was rejected last year.



Omnicom also owns Ketchum Public Relations, ranked number seven in the

world, together with financial PR shop Gavin Anderson. In Europe it owns

public affairs group GPC Market Access.



Based in St Louis, Fleishman-Hillard has 28 offices worldwide, including

seven in Europe: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan, Dublin and

Belfast.



The deal leaves Edelman Worldwide as the last top ten independent global

PR network.



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