This week sees the launch of a series of PRWeek Deal Watch features
in association with corporate finance information service Zephus. Every
month PRWeek will look at the Top 10 players in the UK M&A PR scene and
current major deals.
In the inaugural table, Brunswick has reaffirmed its position at the top
of the financial PR adviser league, bagging all last month's biggest M&A
deals in the UK.
The agency - this week at the centre of an inquiry into leaked client
information - claimed the top spot for its advice on pounds 23bn worth
of deals in April.
According to the Zephus data, Chime Communications-owned Smithfield
Financial ranked second in the April league, advising on more than
pounds 13bn-worth of deals.
Brunswick and Smithfield largely earned their premier positions advising
on the pounds 13bn plans to take diamond giant De Beers private, working
for consortium DB Investments and De Beers respectively.
Tavistock Communications took third place, advising on six deals worth
pounds 10.6bn, the largest being its involvement as adviser to Vodafone
Airtouch, vendor on the pounds 6bn sale of Atecs - Mannesmann's
engineering unit - which completed early last month.
April also saw the announcement of German utility Eon's plans to take
over Powergen for pounds 9.6bn.
While Brunswick advised long-term client Powergen, Citigate Dewe
Rogerson was hired for ad hoc media relations work by bidder Eon - a
deal which helped secure Citigate's position in fourth place.
Tulchan Communications, founded just a year ago, comes in as the fifth
top PR adviser, handling Schlumberger's PR for its takeover of IT group
Sema for nearly pounds 3bn.
In terms of the number of deals handled in April, College Hill
Associates advised on the most, with 18 deals under its belt, followed
by Buchanan Communications, which advised on 11.
The figures are encouraging for financial PR amid a current lacklustre
European M&A market.
Sunday Business reporter Matthew Goodman said: 'There's still a lot of
activity in certain sectors, particularly banking and telecoms, although
in other areas there has been a slowdown in the level of big M&A work,
14such as leisure, media and technology.'
A recent report by UK-based private equity firm Cinven suggests the M&A
market could spring back into action over the next six months with
private investors playing an increasing role in deal flow.
In the study, 78 per cent of corporate financiers surveyed said private
equity investors would increase their participation, particularly in
The table is compiled according to publicised deals involving at least
one UK company, during April.
DEAL WATCH - April 2001 ranking
Ranking Adviser No of Deals Deal Value
1 Brunswick 5 23.14
2 Smithfield Financial 1 13.05
3 Tavistock Communications 6 10.58
4 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 6 9.66
5 Tulchan Communications 2 2.94
6 Finsbury 4 1.15
7 Hudson Sandler 2 0.81
8 Cardew & Co 2 0.71
9 Marbles Public Relations 1 0.47
10 Maitland Consultancy 5 0.31
Source: Zephus Corporate Finance Knowledge (www.zephus.com).