Metals firm brings in M to strengthen its position on bid

French metals firm Pechiney has drafted in M Communications to bolster its financial PR surrounding a £2.3bn hostile bid from Canadian rival Alcan.

M co-founder Hugh Morrison, who is working on the account, said the key aim is to communicate to a global audience the message that the Alcan offer of £28.64 a share is ‘too low and undervalues where the company is heading’.

He did concede that the company had been hit recently by a strong euro and higher resource material prices.

If the bid succeeds it would create the world’s largest aluminium and packaging group, presenting a serious threat to American rival Alcoa, which may decide to put forward its own bid, according to Morrison.

Any takeover of Pechiney would have to go before the EU, which three years ago blocked a three-way merger between Alcan, Swiss firm Algroup and Pechiney.

The M team reports to chief executive Jean-Pierre-Rodier, who is being assisted by Image Sept in France. Publicis is handling financial PR for Alcan on the deal.

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