Lewis war-chest funds deal to buy Asia-Pacific shop

Lewis PR is set to buy Asia-Pacific PR firm Blackie McDonald, with agency founder and CEO Chris Lewis pledging three further acquisitions before the end of the year.

Lewis said the purchase of Blackie – which went into administration last week – would be completed within six weeks and would enable the tech specialist agency to step up the pace of its diversification into sectors such as corporate PR and pharmaceuticals.

He added a Lewis war-chest of more than £12m would help finance three more acquisitions before December, describing the £1m Blackie deal – which, he said, was engineered around Blackie creditors – as ‘smaller’ than other planned acquisitions.

Blackie has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore. Lewis said his agency’s Sydney office would co-locate with Blackie’s bureau in that city.

Lewis said he planned one further acquisition in the US and two in Europe this year. ‘Our intention is to broaden our remit geographically and widen our client base,’ he added.

Meanwhile, it emerged this week that telecoms firm Equant has hired Lewis on a pan-European brief with fees of around £400,000. The pitch is believed to have been against Weber Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and Grayling Group.

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