Incepta Group is expected to announce the acquisition of Dewe
Rogerson for a price of around pounds 26 million early next week ending
several years of speculation over potential buyers.
Incepta, which owns rival financial and corporate PR firm Citigate
Communications, has been in talks with the directors of
independently-owned Dewe Rogerson for several weeks. The only issues
left to be resolved are the roles of senior Dewe Rogerson executives in
a proposed merger of the the two operations.
The merger of Citigate and Dewe Rogerson will create an agency with
combined fee income of around pounds 24 million based on PR Week’s 1998
Top 150. This would make it the second-largest PR agency behind
Shandwick in the UK.
Dewe Rogerson’s major shareholders Roddy Dewe and Nico Rogerson are
expected to retire if a deal goes ahead but Incepta is keen to offer key
roles to the agency’s executive chairman Tony Carlisle and fellow
directors Cary Martin and Kevin Soady.
It is thought that any deal would involve a mixture of cash and Incepta
shares in order to tie Dewe Rogerson directors to earn-outs.
Day-to-day running of the newly-merged PR operation is expected to fall
to Citigate’s chairman Jonathan Clare and Martin. Citigate’s chief
executive Simon Brocklebank-Fowler has left the agency and is currently
on gardening leave and negotiating a severance settlement.
Carlisle and David Wright, Incepta chief executive, were unavailable for
Dewe Rogerson had a higher fee income than Citigate in 1997 with pounds
13.1 million compared to Citigate’s pounds 11.4 million. The two
agencies both handle financial and corporate PR for UK clients but Dewe
Rogerson has traditionally been stronger on international privatisations
and mergers and acquisitions.