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, 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
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
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
Woodstock Leasor has UK fee income of pounds 200,000 in 1999 and its
network covers every eastern European market apart from Serbia.