Figures indicate recovery with increased M&A deals

Activity in the M&A PR adviser market is showing signs of recovery after a downbeat summer, as figures leap to levels not seen since July.

A number of high-profile deals gave a much-needed boost to the sector, with The Maitland Consultancy capitalising on increased activity and securing its position at the top of the PRWeek Deal Watch league for October.

Maitland takes pole position for the first time since April, moving up from the bottom of September's table with five deals worth just under £14bn.

The agency advised Railtrack on its return from administration and the £7bn takeover by Network Rail.

Fellow City firms Financial Dynamics and Finsbury worked alongside Maitland, handling comms for Network Rail and the Department of Transport respectively.

October also saw the finalisation of National Grid's £6.5bn bid for Lattice Group, first announced in late April, creating gas and electricity behemoth National Grid Transco with a market cap of £15bn.

Maitland worked with Lattice on the sale opposite National Grid's retained financial agency Citigate Dewe Rogerson - second in the table - according to figures produced exclusively for PRWeek by M&A information database Zephyr.

The energy sector consolidated further with Powergen's £1.4bn takeover of TXU Europe's UK gas and electricity business - making Powergen the biggest electricity distributor in Britain.

Brunswick advised Powergen on the deal, moving up one place to fifth - with 13 deals totalling £3.3bn.

FD lost its lead in September's table, but boosted its deal figures from £7.2bn to £9.24bn, largely thanks to its work for Railtrack.

Citigate and Finsbury jointly worked on one of last month's most high-profile deals, Granada Media's £1.2bn takeover of rival Carlton Communications, announced in mid-October.

Finsbury advised Carlton, while Granada turned to long-term agency Citigate for advice on the deal, billed by both sides as a merger.

Omnicom-owned Gavin Anderson ranked sixth, dropping from second place last month. GA helped see through Icelandic group Baugur's £1.2bn purchase of The Big Food Group, which owns frozen food giant Iceland and is itself advised by Hudson Sandler.

Meanwhile, Weber Shandwick Square Mile and Haggie Financial scraped into the top ten in ninth and tenth position respectively.

DEAL WATCH - OCTOBER 2002 RANKING

Ranking Financial PR Company No of Deals Deal Value

pounds bn

1 The Maitland Consultancy 5 13.97

2 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 8 9.93

3 Finsbury 7 9.56

4 Financial Dynamics 19 9.24

5 Brunswick 13 3.28

6 Gavin Anderson & Company 7 2.50

7 Hudson Sandler 2 1.23

8 Tulchan Communications 1 0.85

9 Weber Shandwick Square Mile 10 0.77

10 Haggie Financial 4 0.26

Source: Bureau van Dijk - ZEPHYR

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