Foster's Group brings in StockWell as SABMiller extends FD's remit

Foster's Group has taken on StockWell Group to support media relations around its SABMiller bid defence.

Foster’s: calls in Stockwell Group to support SABMiller bid defence
Foster’s: calls in Stockwell Group to support SABMiller bid defence

SABMiller, which bid unsuccessfully for Foster’s Group in June, came back with a £6bn hostile bid yesterday.

PRWeek understands that Foster’s has now taken on recently launched City shop StockWell to supports its media relations in the UK.

StockWell’s involvement will be led by former Brunswick partner Tim Burt and former Maitland CEO Philip Gawith. Gawith formerly worked with SABMiller when Maitland held its financial comms account from 2003 to 2006.

As exclusively revealed by PRWeek this week, SABMiller and long-time retained City agency Brunswick have parted ways. The UK-listed brewer used FD in Australia to support comms around its bid in June and has now extended FD’s remit to the UK.

UK CEO John Waples and FD’s head of consumer industries Jonathon Brilll are leading the UK account.

Foster’s continues to use Butcher & Co to handle its financial comms in Australia.

The Austrlian-listed brewing firm rejected SABMiller’s advances in June and quickly turned down its latest offer.

The Foster’s board said today that it ‘reiterates its belief that an offer price of AUS$4.90 per share significantly undervalues the company in the context of a change of control.’ The statement added: ‘In addition, the high level of conditionality further detracts from the proposed offer.’

Foster's releases its annual results next week and new CEO John Pollaers will outline his strategy to lead the company back to growth as an independent entity.

PRWeek earlier reported that SABMiller and Brunswick were to cut ties within weeks, with Brunswick understood to have resigned the account.

Brunswick’s financial PR account was taken in-house during recent years, with the agency’s role morphing into comms around alcohol policy.

SABMiller is understood to be initiating a process to replace Brunswick. The extension of FD’s remit is thought to be a separate move.

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