Shandwick and Lowe Bell have flatly denied that the two are in
merger talks, despite a rash of speculation this week.
Rumours that Shandwick International and Lowe Bell holding company Chime
Communications are locked in negotiations were rejected out of hand by
Chime’s managing director Piers Pottinger.
’We are not having talks with Shandwick,’ he said. ’We work with
Shandwick on some programmes but it doesn’t follow that we are in
talks.’ Sources at Shandwick also insisted that the rumours were
Insiders suggest that speculation may have arisen from the purchase of a
five per cent stake in Chime by UK Active Value Fund in February. The
fund, which is run by Julian Treager and Bryan Myerson, also holds a 15
per cent stake in Shandwick and has a reputation for shaking up those
companies in which it has an investment.
A closer union between Shandwick and Lowe Bell could prove mutually
After key staff defected from Shandwick Consultants last month to form
the Hogarth Partnership, Lowe Bell could bolster Shandwick’s financial
PR capability, while Chime Communications would gain from Shandwick’s
The two agencies last held talks in 1991 but Shandwick’s plan to take a
stake in Lowe Bell hit the buffers following a tumble in the former’s