The board at Lopex will no doubt heave a sigh of relief this week,
safe in the knowledge that shareholders willing, the appearance of a
white knight in the shape of Havas has saved the integrity of the
Grayling and Westminster Strategy brands.
The rationale for a sale was obvious. Despite reasonable growth over the
last few years, the Lopex PR brands have slowly slipped down the table,
elbowed out by the increasing consolidation of the market. If the brands
were to survive and grow, Grayling needed to chose a niche or, more
appropriately, increase its critical mass. But Lopex simply didn’t have
the capitalisation necessary for its PR businesses to make this
Havas has been waiting in the wings for some time, but the bullish
statements emanating from Incepta (PR Week, 9 July) might have helped
whet Lopex’s appetite for Havas’ offer. The Diversified Agencies and
Euro RSCG Worldwide divisions work to different agendas - the former
seeks to strengthen local markets and brands, while the latter is bent
on global domination with unified brands such as the recently launched
below-the-line operation Sales Machine.
The fact that the Lopex brand will represent the sole European PR
interest of Diversified Agencies, placing it at arms’ length from Euro
RSCG’s international PR brand, seems to confirm Lopex’s hopes that it
has not only secured the prerequisite financial clout, but will also be
allowed the autonomy to continue building its PR brands.