Lopex slows Incepta bid in hope of a white knight

Incepta Group’s hostile bid for rival Lopex, if successful, would create the second largest UK PR group, with a fee income of pounds 34.6 million.

Incepta Group’s hostile bid for rival Lopex, if successful, would

create the second largest UK PR group, with a fee income of pounds 34.6

million.



The merged entity of Incepta’s Citigate brand and Lopex’s Grayling brand

would exceed Bell Pottinger Communications in terms of fee income. The

group would still be behind International PR, which includes

Shandwick.



The Incepta bid, which valued Lopex at pounds 57.5 million as PR Week

went to press, is being contested by Lopex, which is rumoured to be

seeking a white knight buyer.



Incepta made an unsuccessful informal offer to buy Lopex in

late-1997.



Incepta chief executive David Wright said that if the bid was

successful, corporate and consumer agency Grayling PR would be rebranded

as Citigate Grayling while Westminster Strategy would most likely be

merged with Citigate Westminster.



’It would not be a case of CDR people getting all the top jobs - some

Lopex people will find themselves in higher positions than they are

currently, but not everyone is going to be happy,’ said Wright. It is

unlikely Lopex chief executive Peter Thomas would remain.



Incepta has made its intentions known to the City. Lopex shareholders

were scheduled to receive the offer document on 8 July.



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