PRWeek UK Corporate, City & Public Affairs Awards winners: Best Handling of a Merger or Acquisition Deal

The winner in this category is ‘Against the clock: communicating Bank of Cyprus’ investment case’, by Aurrera Communications for the Bank of Cyprus.

Within the space of three months last year, Bank of Cyprus was subjected to a series of takeover bids from US private equity firm Lone Star. It rejected the proposals but when this became public last August, the bank turned to its corporate and financial comms agency Aurrera Communications for help.

A two-pronged comms strategy was devised to highlight the bank’s investment case as a strong and sustainably profitable financial services group, and to ensure effective comms with stakeholders to support the board’s decisions.

The bank’s share price had risen 23 per cent between Lone Star’s approaches becoming public and the day before the private equity firm announced it was walking away, on 27 September 2022. The share price was in danger of falling significantly if Lone Star announced it was not going to make a further offer.

Aurrera had to manage and monitor media coverage internationally, as well as in Cyprus and Greece in English and Greek. The bank is listed in London and Cyprus and registered in Dublin, which meant the agency also had to navigate a complex legal scenario in terms of takeover rules in different countries. 

Through re-establishing relationships with influential international media, demonstrating transparency and establishing a positive feedback loop between international and local media, the agency was able to communicate the bank’s strategy, significant turnaround progress and strong financial performance to investors. Instead of falling, as had been feared, the bank’s share price increased by 39 per cent between the publication of the first international opinion piece about its standalone strategy on 13 September 2022 and 1 December 2022.

Judge’s comment

“Good outcomes delivered under hugely complex conditions while also working with a range of stakeholders across multiple jurisdictions.”


Shortlisted

The Office Group by Powerscourt 

Ultra Electronics by MHP Mischief


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