Charles Barker BSMG is believed to be on the verge of acquiring
independent public affairs consultancy GJW.
Charles Barker, a subsidiary of True North Communications’ BSMG brand,
has pursued an acquisition strategy for the last year. The company
bought lobbying shop LSA in January 1999 and food and drink PR
specialist Walker Williams last May.
Charles Barker CEO Nan Williams refused to deny rumours that the company
had agreed to pay up to pounds 11 million for GJW, and said: ’Charles
Barker has grown organically and acquisitively since our own acquisition
by BSMG in 1997, but we never comment on commercial speculation.’
GJW chairman Wilf Weeks refused to comment, but company sources said:
’Letters have been exchanged with a series of prospective partners. No
formal agreement has been signed yet.’
In the last six months GJW is known to have been in talks with both
Shandwick and Lighthouse Holdings (PR Week 4 February), the US holding
company which in 1999 bought Financial Dynamics.