F-H eyes Lexis to boost presence in London

Fleishman-Hillard has approached independent agency Lexis, with a view to negotiating an acquisition deal to strengthen its London operations.

Fleishman-Hillard has approached independent agency Lexis, with a

view to negotiating an acquisition deal to strengthen its London

operations.



Omnicom-owned Fleishman-Hillard is thought to have had talks with a

number of agencies in London, including QBO, since its own acquisition

in April last year.



Frank Barnard, European chairman of Fleishman-Hillard, said: ’It’s no

secret that we are interested in building resources in the UK. Now as

part of Omnicom we can consider the acquisition route. We are studying

the UK scene. To single out any particular agency at this stage would be

unhelpful.’



Bill Jones, Lexis’ chief executive, said: ’As a successful independent

consultancy, multinationals do knock on our door. It’s our policy to

listen and that’s all we have done with Fleishman-Hillard.’



Lexis is ranked at 41 in the PR Week Top 150 League Tables (PR Week, 24

April 1998) with a fee income in 1997 of over pounds 2.2 million.

Fleishman-Hillard is at 42, also with a 1997 fee income of over pounds

2.2 million.



Fleishman-Hillard UK lost its managing director Barry Leggetter in

October following plans to switch the reporting structure. The London

office now reports to Fleishman-Hillard Europe in Paris, rather than to

chief executive John Graham in the US.



The loss of Leggetter and Janet Salvoni, director of consumer marketing,

who left the agency last year, has contributed to the agency’s need to

boost its presence in London.



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