NEWS: City PRs compete for AEA privatisation deal

Six City PR firms are competing to handle PR for what will probably be the Government’s last privatisation before the next general election.

Six City PR firms are competing to handle PR for what will probably be

the Government’s last privatisation before the next general election.



The Department of Trade and Industry has invited tenders from

stockbrokers and public relations agencies to handle the forthcoming

privatisation of AEA Technology, the state-owned science and technology

services company. Fees for the PR project could be worth up to pounds

250,000.



Although the Government has not yet decided whether it will dispose of

AEA through a flotation or a trade sale, the intention to hire outside

firms with a commitment to paying fees indicates that ministers will

probably opt for a float.



A spokesperson from the DTI explained that the Government’s merchant

banking adviser Schroders had been asked to put forward a shortlist of

six PR agencies with experience of flotation work.



She declined to name the agencies, but the list is thought to include

Dewe Rogerson, Ludgate, Shandwick, Citigate, Brunswick and Financial

Dynamics. An appointment is expected early next month.



AEA already uses Lowe Bell Consultants for corporate, business to

business and lobbying work. But because it is retained by the company,

the agency is unlikely to be appointed for financial work by the

Government as well.



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