M chiefs face former agency FD in bid battle

Ex-Financial Dynamics bosses Nick Miles and Hugh Morrison are going head to head with their former agency in the multi-billion pound bidding battle for healthcare firm Centerpulse.

Miles and Morrison’s fledgling agency, M Communications - launched last October following an acrimonious split with their former employer and FD parent Cordiant - has been drafted in by US firm Zimmer to handle City PR surrounding its hostile bid for Centerpulse.

FD, working for approved bidder Smith & Nephew, has launched a PR offensive to counter Zimmer’s unsolicited £1.9bn approach.

The takeover battle comes as partners at FD International prepare to complete their long-awaited MBO from Cordiant, in a deal that is rumoured to value the firm at between £25m and £30m.

It is understood a team of up to 25 partners at FD, backed by private equity firm Advent, are leading the buyout bid, due to go through as PRWeek went to press.

On the Centerpulse bid, the agency is working with S&N director of corporate communications Angie Craig, to help see the drugs giant’s £1.6bn offer go through to create the world’s third largest orthopaedics business.

FD managing director of life sciences David Yates is heading the S&N brief, supported by a team of two.

Yates said: ‘As of today, this remains the only offer on the table. The approach from Zimmer is a pre-announcement that is subject to several additional conditions, one of which is due diligence.’

At M, co-founder Morrison is leading a six-strong team co-ordinating PR across the US and Europe and reporting directly to the Zimmer board.

Kekst & Co and Hirzel Neef Schmid are handling Zimmer’s PR in the US and Switzerland respectively.

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