CNC works with car giant PSA on £1.9bn General Motors Europe deal

Publicis-owned PR agency CNC represented French car giant PSA for its £1.9bn (€2.2bn, $2.3bn) acquisition of General Motors' European operations, PRWeek has learned.

Deal: PSA chair Carlos Tavares and GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra at a press conference on Monday
Deal: PSA chair Carlos Tavares and GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra at a press conference on Monday

The deal for GM’s Opel/Vauxhall division, which includes Vauxhall in the UK and Opel in Germany, makes PSA Group Europe’s second-largest car maker behind Volkswagen. PSA also owns Citroën and Peugeot.

CNC was appointed to handle comms for the deal in the UK and Germany, PRWeek understands. The agency declined to comment.

PRWeek contacted PSA but had received no response at the time of publication.

In the UK, the announcement has led to concerns about the future of Vauxhall, which operates plants in factories at Ellesmere Port and Luton, employing 4,500 people.

Announcing the news, PSA chairman Carlos Tavares stressed the company’s commitment to the current operations.

"We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall, capitalising on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.

"We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees."

Business Secretary Greg Clark told the BBC he was "cautiously optimistic" about the future of Vauxhall in the UK.

"The conversations that I and the Prime Minister have had, both with GM and PSA, tell me they intend to safeguard the plants, honour their commitments and look to increase the performance and the sales of cars," Clark said. "We want to hold them to those commitments, but the messages we’ve had lead me to be cautiously optimistic."

CNC saw a surge in the value of M&A deals it handled in 2016, moving from $18.3bn in 2015 to $153.4bn last year, according to a recent report by media analysis and data company Mergermarket. The agency was formed in 2015 by the merger of Publicis-owned financial shops Capital MSL and CNC.

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