Tribal acquires MPC in deal worth £2.75m

Public sector support firm Tribal Group has acquired local government PR specialist Marina Pirotta Communications in a deal worth up to £2.75m over three years.

MPC, founded two years ago by former council comms head Marina Pirotta, will become part of a newly created division called Tribal Communications, linking it with Atlas Media Group, the healthcare specialist bought by Tribal last October in a deal worth up to £5.8m (PRWeek, 4 October).

This latest deal, which involves an initial consideration of £1.25m, means Pirotta is set to become part of a small group of public sector PR specialist millionaires. This group is also thought to include Atlas MD Bob Schofield.

The initial consideration includes MPC’s cash balances of £340,000, £800,000 in cash and the issue of more than 135,000 new shares worth 5p each. A deferred payment of £1.75m will be paid out in three years time, depending on performance.

Pirotta stressed that both the MPC and Atlas brands would remain. She added: ‘This is good news for us, and it will mean a lot more investment in the company.’

MPC, which is based in London, will now have a resource to call on in Leeds, where Atlas is based. The combined staff of Tribal Communications will be 44.

MPC director James Flynn and two support staff will remain with the firm. Pirotta expects to recruit two to three account managers shortly.

Atlas is best known for its contract publishing work for the NHS and was formed 18 months ago from a merger of Atlas PR and Headline Communications.

Atlas PR was ranked tenth in the latest PRWeek healthcare league tables, with a fee income of £1.3m (PRWeek, 30 May).

Pirotta is a former comms head at three London boroughs – Brent, Hackney and Newham.

MPC clients include the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the Economic and Social Research Council.

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