NGT - the UK's biggest utility firm - put the work out to pitch at the end of last year following its takeover of gas pipeline operator Lattice (PRWeek, 29 November 2002).
CDR and Maitland - formerly incumbents for electricity transmitter National Grid and British Gas successor Lattice respectively - pitched against three rivals for the FTSE 100 brief, believed to be Financial Dynamics, Brunswick and Gavin Anderson.
NGT group head of media relations Gillian Home said: 'We gave the whole matter in-depth consideration over the Christmas period.
'We came to the conclusion with the merger just having taken place that there was some value in having continuity going forward.'
She added the decision to appoint CDR, which has worked for National Grid since 1998, was swayed by the agency's presence in the US via sister IR firm Citigate Sard Verbinnen, which has maintained a long working relationship with National Grid.
The brief - understood to be set for review in six months' time - will build on the original remit, including high-end strategic comms advice, analyst relations, IR, financial calendar work and helping develop the firm's comms programme for the year ahead.
'CDR will reinforce our own resources,' said Home. 'We are a new company, so it's bedding down and working with the agency to prepare the strategy.'
CDR director Tony Carlisle leads the account.
It is understood CDR's work will involve increasing understanding of the group as a newly merged entity, communicating the strategy of the group going forward and work relating to merger synergies in the US and UK.