FTI closes in on Portland

Public affairs agency Portland is poised to sell to FTI Consulting, according to well-placed industry sources.

As revealed on prweek.com/uk (30 September), Tim Allan's agency is thought to be in advanced talks with US-headquartered FTI, owner of the leading UK City PR firm previously named FD.

One insider told PRWeek: 'There's a deal on the table with FTI. It's just awaiting Tim's signature.'

Portland was founded by Allan, a former Downing Street deputy comms director under Tony Blair, in 2001. In recent years, the agency has hired a number of heavy-hitters, including George Pascoe-Watson, former political editor at The Sun.

The news has emerged after FD rebranded to become the strategic comms practice of FTI (prweek.com/uk, 23 September).

FTI has been keen to boost its lobbying firepower in recent years following a reduction in its UK public affairs capacity. FD bought New Labour lobbying outfit LLM in 2005, but the brand name was dropped in 2008 following a number of senior departures.

Senior figures at Portland and FTI declined to comment.

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