European lobbying firm EPPA is to secure its future, despite the
failure of an outside investor to inject much-needed cash.
Financier Patrick Spiteri's expected investment, which was to have
assured the status of EPPA as the only independent Europe-wide public
affairs firm, has been stalled by technical hitches.
Chairman Scott Hamilton wrote to staff two weeks ago outlining the
difficulties facing the firm. In a memo, he blamed restructuring and the
move into new offices in London and Brussels for the cash squeeze.
Hamilton told staff that directors had foregone payments 'and in some
cases facilitated or underwritten loans to the business'. The lenders
included Hamilton himself, MD Per Utterback, and directors Stefan
Schepers, Liz Spencer and Rudiger May.
'My fellow directors are aware of the need for this finance and have
started exploring new options,' Hamilton wrote.
Hamilton said the board is not planning to sell the agency, but has
opened talks 'with a range of potential strategic partners'.
He said a resolution was expected at a round-table meeting next week in
which the agency, Spiteri, and both sets of advisers are to flesh out
terms. These are expected to include a mix of Spiteri taking equity in
the firm, and making a loan to the balance sheet.