MS&L top PR shop as Publicis buys Bcom3

Top 20 global PR firm Manning Selvage & Lee is set to become the largest PR brand within the £2.8bn marketing services behemoth created by Publicis Groupe's takeover last week of Bcom3.

The £2.1bn deal, announced last week, sees Bcom3-owned MS&L become the group's leading PR offering, with a fee income of more than £84m.

MS&L bosses are remaining tight-lipped as to whether the deal will result in a merger of the PR network with its newly acquired sister brands Publicis Dialogue and Rowland Communications Worldwide, which recorded revenues in 2000 of £23m and £32m respectively.

But MS&L chief executive Lou Capozzi said all options were currently under review: 'We are going to put all our operations under the microscope and look for synergies. No decisions have been made about the future of the PR brands within Publicis, but we'll be looking at our operations and see where we come out.'

Capozzi said the merger would create a number of opportunities for MS&L, in terms of staff and clients. He hinted at possible international expansion, adding that MS&L is concentrated in the US and needs to strengthen its offerings in Europe and Asia.

Capozzi confirmed there would be no immediate staff losses as a result of the Publicis/Bcom3 deal, which is set to go through at the end of June.

The deal sees Publicis form the world's fourth largest comms group behind WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic Group.

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