GCI Group buys affiliate Focus Communications

GCI Group has acquired its long-standing affiliate, financial PR firm Focus Communications, in a deal valued at pounds 5 million.

GCI Group has acquired its long-standing affiliate, financial PR

firm Focus Communications, in a deal valued at pounds 5 million.



Focus employs 25 people and has a fee income of pounds 2 million.

Clients include building society turned bank Alliance and Leicester,

insurance company Admiral and Schroder Investment Management.



Founder and chief executive Rupert Ashe will continue to run Focus,

which has been affiliated to GCI since 1995. He will report to GCI Group

London managing director Adrian Wheeler.



Ashe said: ’As a full member of GCI’s worldwide network we expect to

grow very aggressively indeed. We are aiming to double revenues to

pounds 4 million by the end of the year 2000, organically or through

strategic acquisitions.’



GCI already has financial public relations capabilities in the US,

Germany and France. Ashe was appointed head of GCI’s European financial

practice at the beginning of 1998, and will continue in that post.



The combined 1997 fee income for GCI in the UK and Focus would have

placed the agency 12th in PR Week’s Top 150 League Table for 1998.



GCI did not previously hold a stake in Focus, which was owned by Ashe

and directors Jackie Smith and Christopher Joll. The agency will be

renamed GCI Focus - a name which it has previously adopted when working

with GCI.



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