INTERNATIONAL: F-H moves into Africa by acquiring Vallun Wilkins

JOHANNESBURG: Fleishman-Hillard has made its first move into Africa with the acquisition of a majority stake in top-five South African agency Vallun Wilkins.

JOHANNESBURG: Fleishman-Hillard has made its first move into Africa

with the acquisition of a majority stake in top-five South African

agency Vallun Wilkins.



The day-to-day running of Vallun Wilkins will remain in the hands of

local managers. The manager’s brief includes planning for a pan-African

network for F-H, which is seeking to make long-term investments in

affiliates in Kenya, Ghana, Egypt and the Middle East.



Vallun Wilkins’ three managing directors, Lucien Vallun, Blake Wilkins

and Michelle de Pons, will retain their positions. The name of the

agency, whose clients include Daimler Chrysler, Panasonic and Dell

Computers, will change to Fleishman-Hillard/Vallun Wilkins.



’In looking to grow our business, we sought investment from an

international agency to gain access to global accounts and global

standards. Three years ago, less than 20 per cent of our business was

international; now it is over 50 per cent - we want to develop that

further. Our association with Fleishman-Hillard will also help to

attract top-level staff,’ said Vallun.



Rick Sullivan, international president of Fleishman-Hillard, said that

investing in an established local agency would give Fleishman-Hillard a

good base for future growth in the area.



’The democratisation process in South Africa continues to yield

important communications opportunities,’ he said.



Vallun Wilkins was established 14 years ago and has a staff of 22. Its

skills base includes healthcare, investor relations, crisis

communications and issues management.



Fleishman-Hillard joins Shandwick, Edelman PR Worldwide, Citigate Dewe

Rogerson, Text 100 and Burson-Marsteller as groups with a South African

presence.



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