Top 150: global M&A slowdown hits UK growth at Brunswick and Finsbury

Financial PR mainstays Brunswick and Finsbury experienced modest UK revenue growth in 2016, hit by the slowdown in global M&A and increased competition, research from the PRWeek Top 150 has found.

Brunswick represented Budweiser brewer AB InBev in its SABMiller acquisition in 2016
Brunswick represented Budweiser brewer AB InBev in its SABMiller acquisition in 2016

Brunswick maintained its second place in the PRWeek Top 15o table, with UK revenue up by about one per cent on the previous year, according to estimates from the company. Finsbury’s growth in the UK was also minimal, PRWeek estimates suggest.

Read the full profiles of Brunswick and Finsbury for the PRWeek Top 150, which forms part of the wider Agency Business Report.

Finsbury's North America CEO Paul Holmes told PRWeek that uncertainty caused by the UK’s EU referendum and the US presidential election "gave some companies a certain amount of pause".

But he said the agency made a "qualitative leap" in 2016. "We did some really important things last year, in terms of who we are and what we can offer to our clients." Highlights included the partnership with fellow WPP financial agency Hering Schuppener of Germany.

For Brunswick, revenue growth in the UK was slower than in markets including Continental Europe and the Middle East. Global growth was six per cent.

Brunswick's M&A highlights in the year included the divestment of National Grid's gas-distribution assets; AB InBev's acquisition of SABMiller and Japanese tech giant Softbank's purchase of the UK's ARM Holdings. In the latter two cases, its old friend Finsbury was advising the other side.

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