BV founder and commercial director Rupert Vereker conceded that the group was ‘looking at options available to us’, adding ‘any marketing services group has to consider its options in the current climate’.
Vereker said it was likely an ‘ongoing strategy review’ would be completed ‘within the next eight weeks’.
Brown - who was promoted to head both BV and Midnight nine months ago, just one year after selling Midnight to BV (PRWeek, 10 August 2001) – said she was unable to comment on speculation.
Brown sold her firm to BV in August 2001, in a deal reportedly worth up to £3.5m over the following four years.
Brown at the time explained the decision to sell to BV by saying her staff would ‘have access to more resources’ and Midnight’s clients would benefit from a broader service offer, such as advertising and direct marketing.
Industry speculation six months ago suggested an MBO at Midnight would cost Brown just £500,000. However, neither Vereker nor Brown would this week comment on figures.
According to PRWeek’s technology league tables published this week (p11), the agency’s total fee income for 2002 was just over £1.5m.
Midnight was founded in 1995 and mainly handles IT, B2B and consumer PR work.