FD tipped to buy eastern Europe specialist

Financial Dynamics is in discussions to acquire Woodstock Leasor (WL), the London-based public relations agency which specialises in eastern European and central Asian markets.

Financial Dynamics is in discussions to acquire Woodstock Leasor

(WL), the London-based public relations agency which specialises in

eastern European and central Asian markets.



Hugh Morrison, Financial Dynamics’ managing director for international

business refused to confirm details of the deal. But PR Week understands

talks are close to a conclusion on whether FD will acquire the agency or

wind up the company and hire its managing director and founder Stuart

Leasor.



Leasor, with fellow directors Sarah Tubbs and PJ Lewis, is understood to

have been in negotiations with a clutch of suitors, including College

Hill, Square Mile and Grandfield. Woodstock Leasor is keen that its

network of owned or affiliated offices across the former Eastern Bloc is

fully exploited.



Russia’s forthcoming elections are expected to hand power to acting

president Vladimir Putin, ushering in a new period of stability. Poland,

Hungary and the Czech Republic have also been identified by Leasor as

key markets for agencies willing to invest for the long term; IPOs are

plentiful now as regional economies privatise, with new business

opportunities expected to follow the raft of flotations.



While the region is broadly outside Financial Dynamic’s expansion

strategy, the purchase is seen by senior FD sources as an ’opportunistic

acquisition’.



Financial Dynamics itself was acquired by US holding company Lighthouse

last year (PR Week, 6 August). Industry speculation has since been rife

that the top five financial agency is on the hunt for further

acquisitions.



Woodstock Leasor has UK fee income of pounds 200,000 in 1999 and its

network covers every eastern European market apart from Serbia.



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