PARIS: GPC International is continuing its acquisition spree,
buying a 20 per cent stake in top ten French public affairs consultancy
Communications and Institutions (C&I).
The Canada-based Omnicom subsidiary has been affiliated to C&I in Paris
since 1997, but the equity transaction only took place last week.
It is GPC’s second major acquisition in recent months. Last October the
agency, headed by global chief executive Hershell Ezrin, bought Canada’s
McDermott O’Neill Associates to form GPC O’Neill.
C&I’s ten consultancy staff will continue to be led on a day-to-day
basis by chief executive Olivier Le Picard and joint managing directors
Jean-Christophe Adler and Nicolas Bouvier.
Julia Harrison, GPC Brussels’ chief executive, joins the board of C&I,
with the possibility of Le Picard joining the GPC Brussels board in
C&I - which has fee income of over pounds 1 million - maintains a
separate corporate identity for trading purposes.
Le Picard founded C&I in 1983, and is a founder member of the
Association Francaise des Conseils en Lobbying - French lobbying’s trade
body. He is now serving a two-year term as AFCL president.
C&I’s client list includes state-owned nuclear giant COGEMA, and Elf
Autochem, the French oil firm’s chemical arm. GPC’s Brussels clients
include Ford and Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.
Meanwhile, GPC continues to seek a successor to Sir Ian
He stood down as UK chairman last month to focus on business interests
in the north east of England (PR Week, 4 February). The chairman’s role
has been expanded to cover all of Europe.