NEWS: WPP rejects rumours of bid for Pendragon

Hill and Knowlton parent company WPP has emerged as a possible bidder for the self-styled ‘media management’ consultancy Luther Pendragon.

Hill and Knowlton parent company WPP has emerged as a possible bidder

for the self-styled ‘media management’ consultancy Luther Pendragon.



WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell met the agency’s managing director

George Pitcher last month, although Sorrell has denied that he is

planning to buy it or any other public relations consultancy.



WPP owns both Hill and Knowlton - the world’s third-largest PR firm,

which this year returned to profit for the first time since 1992 - and

the number nine Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart.



Despite a strong performance by H&K in the UK the agency has little

financial PR business - a point conceded by UK chief executive David

McLaren in April, when he said: ‘But we have a plan to fix that’.



A deal with Luther Pendragon would be one solution. The firm has several

financial public relations specialists including former Times City

editor Melvyn Marckus.



Last month (18 October) PR Week reported that the agency had received an

offer of pounds 5 million from an unnamed UK advertising group.



Speaking on Tuesday, Pitcher, however, denied that there was any deal in

the offing and declined to be drawn on whether Luther Pendragon had been

approached by WPP.



Other firms WPP is believed to have looked at include the group’s

retained financial PR agency Buchanan Communications.



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