Four Communications prepares to snap up Consolidated PR

Four Communications is making preparations to buy Consolidated PR next month as it seeks to strengthen its consumer credentials.

Nan Williams: CEO of Four Communications
Nan Williams: CEO of Four Communications

More than 90 per cent of Consolidated’s shareholders have already agreed to the cash offer, with the agency’s board recommending the deal to the remaining shareholders.

Four Communications CEO Nan Williams said that Consolidated’s size – which she claimed was around £2.5m in annual fee income – was similar to other agencies snapped up by the group, which posted a £10.8m fee income for 2013 in PRWeek’s Top 150 PR Consultancies.

Referencing the acquisitions of BGB in 2011 and Colman Getty in 2012, which have retained their brands as Four bgb and Four Colman Getty, she told PRWeek: "This size has worked really well for us in the past in that it is a great addition but is able to remain a team in its own right, allowing us to develop a series of teams with their own identity and specialisation."

Consolidated has a team of 30, including 23 in London and seven in Scotland, with clients including American Express and Tourism Ireland's work in the UK – an account also handled by Four across the Gulf region.

Williams highlighted Consolidated’s presence on both the Scottish and British government rosters, and cited the agency’s consumer credentials as one of the key reasons behind the acquisition effort. 

"They’ve got a great reputation for handling big consumer brands, whereas ours are more specialist in that they are often across property, travel and culture. We’re about getting deeper into segments of the market, and this will help within our consumer offer."

Upon completion of the deal Consolidated PR would initially retain its brand while the companies planned for the future.

The move would see Consolidated MD Nick Clark join the Four Communications Group board, with Elspeth Rothwell also promoted to deputy MD of Consolidated PR.

Alongside Rothwell, directors Will Holt, Liz Fay and Anne Clarke would be made practice directors within Four.

Consolidated London staff would move to Four’s offices in London Bridge, though Williams admitted a "small number" of redundancies might result from the duplication of roles. 

Clark said: "We believe the future of communications is integrated and international and by joining Four we are opening up those opportunities for our clients and people. The board has unanimously voted to recommend this future to shareholders."

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