Takeover bid holds up top McVitie’s PR hiring

McVitie’s is delaying the recruitment of a successor to its recently-departed head of communications, until after the outcome of the takeover bid for its parent company United Biscuits.

McVitie’s is delaying the recruitment of a successor to its

recently-departed head of communications, until after the outcome of the

takeover bid for its parent company United Biscuits.



Alison Heads left the post late last month, to be a communications

manager at Glaxo Wellcome. McVitie’s has since drafted in Vivienne

Carlton as an interim manager on a consultancy basis for the next few

months. Carlton currently reports to the board.



UB, which makes brands such as Jaffa Cakes, KP Nuts and Hula Hoops, was

targeted earlier in the year by two rival bidders and last month they

tabled a joint bid for UB. The bidders were France’s Finalrealm, which

includes the Danone group, and US company Burlington, which includes

food giant Nabisco. The combined bid, worth pounds 1.25 billion, was

supported by a number of venture capital outfits.



An undisclosed source said that many marketing staff are keen to leave

UB ahead of the final deal, unsure of the future. Carlton would confirm

only that she was acting communciations head, and said she would make an

announcement in due course.



According to the source McVitie’s has been reluctant or unable to

recruit a permanent successor to Heads - who had been in the job only

seven months - with the position so uncertain.



Uncertainty also hangs over the agencies McVitie’s uses. Lexis handles

consumer PR, covering product PR as well as some crisis management

advice.



Circle focuses mainly on business communications.



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