Brunswick to provide City PR advice to Centerpulse

Swiss healthcare firm Centerpulse has drafted in Brunswick for City PR advice following a £1.9bn hostile bid from US firm Zimmer.

Centerpulse, which was previously handling takeover PR in-house, brought Brunswick on board earlier this week as the group’s sale escalated into a bidding war.

Zimmer proposed a £1.9bn unsolicited approach earlier this month, threatening to topple an approved £1.6bn offer from UK firm Smith & Nephew.

Brunswick’s hire comes just a week after Zimmer appointed M Communications to lead PR efforts surrounding its takeover approach (PRWeek, 23 May).

Brunswick is one of five financial PR agencies working on the deal, along with S&N’s retained consultancy Financial Dynamics, and Zimmer’s overseas agencies Kekst & Co in the US and Hirzel Neef Schmid in Switzerland.

Teams in the UK and the US will lead Centerpulse’s PR campaign, to be headed by Brunswick partner Simon Holberton from London and senior partner Steve Lipin in New York.

‘We’ll be giving strategic counsel to the board and the technical implementation of that on the ground,’ said a Brunswick spokesman.

The agency reports to Centerpulse head of corporate comms Beatrice Tschanz and chairman and chief executive Max Link.

Centerpulse, formerly Sulzer Medica, is Europe’s biggest provider of artificial orthopaedics implants. The firm

has been tipped for takeover since paying more than £600m to settle a class action suit in

the US, involving thousands of patients claiming that they were given defective hip and knee joints.

Brunswick has also secured its account with insurance firm Standard Life following a review of the City PR brief. Standard Life had held talks with a number of other agencies, but decided to re-hire the three-and-a-half year incumbent.

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