Brunswick heads adviser league as mergers drop

Brunswick has climbed up the M&A PR adviser league for November, ranking first with 12 deals worth £2.64bn.

The City PR agency moved up four places from October, seeing off competition from rival The Maitland Consultancy, which slipped from the top of the Deal Watch table in October to seventh position.

But the M&A figures, compiled exclusively for PRWeek by M&A information database Zephyr, have dropped dramatically following tentative signs of improvement in October's table.

And last month's three largest deals - HSBC Holdings' £9.09bn purchase of US consumer finance company Household International, the sale of a minority stake in Zurich Financial Services for £1.61bn and State Street's £963m takeover of World Markets Company - were handled in-house.

The fourth largest takeover announced last month, GUS' £910m buy-out of DIY chain Homebase, saw three City PR agencies work on the deal: Citigate Dewe Rogerson Finsbury and GCI Financial, gaining Deal Watch rankings of second, fourth and sixth places respectively.

CDR advised Homebase, while Finsbury handled communication on behalf of bidder GUS - which owns general merchandise giant Argos.

GCI advised Homebase majority shareholder Permira, which bought a 71 per cent stake in the group from Sainsbury in December 2000.

Brunswick handled comms on the £750m sale of Littlewoods to LW Investments - the bid vehicle formed by Barclay brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay.

They closed the deal just a month after announcing their intention to add Littlewoods to their investments portfolio, which includes The Ritz Hotel London and The Scotsman newspaper.

Bell Pottinger Financial secured fifth place in the M&A league, compiled according to deals involving at least one UK company.

The Chime Communications-owned agency advised on six deals totalling £1.25bn, the largest of which was for client Bank of Scotland, which plans to raise £318m through an issue of £477m worth of securities to boost its capital reserves.

The Hogarth Partnership earned ninth place in the table handling £511m of deals.

Chancery Communications - now CardewChancery following its sale to fellow City PR agency Cardew & Co last month (PRWeek, 8 November) - bagged tenth place advising BC Partners on its purchase of a 91.15 per cent stake in Swiss private hospital group Hirslanden Holding.

DEAL WATCH NOVEMBER 2002 RANKING

Rank Financial PR Company No of Deals Deal Value pounds m

1 Brunswick 12 2,643

2 Citigate Dewe Rogerson 8 2,495

3 Gavin Anderson & Co 13 1,742

4 Finsbury 9 1,714

5 Bell Pottinger Financial 6 1,252

6 GCI Financial 2 912

7 The Maitland Consultancy 8 820

8 Tulchan Communications 4 536

9 The Hogarth Partnership 2 511

10 Cardew Chancery 1 405

Source: Bureau van Dijk - ZEPHYR

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