Cinven bid helps propel FD to the top of the M&A chart

Financial Dynamics has shot to the top spot in this month’s survey of merger and acquisition PR advisers, according to the latest Deal Watch figures.

FD has risen from tenth place in August to head the table, a position the firm has not held since October last year. FD’s UK work advising private equity firm Cinven on its £736m joint bid with Candover Investments for Bertelsmann scientific-publishing arm BertelsmannSpringer propelled the financial PR specialist to the top of the rankings for September.

The firm also advised Taylor Woodrow in September on the broker’s £480m acquisition of Wilson Holdings, as well as healthcare technology firm iSOFT Group, which put in a £337m bid for Torex.

A £6.9bn increase in the total value of the deals on which the top ten firms advised last month saw many of the table’s regular leaders re-establish their positions.

This is typified by Hogarth, which languished at ninth place in the July rankings, but moved into second place this month.

Hogarth advised CVC Capital Partners on September’s biggest deal, the £1.6bn bid by Bank One Corporation for department store Debenhams.

Another new entry was the South African PR firm Du Plessis Associates, which holds joint eighth position with Grandfield Communications and Golin/Harris. It has achieved that position partly through its work advising gold-mining and exploration business Randgold Resources on its £1bn bid for Ashanti Goldfields.

The changes in top-ten deal volume sees Fishburn Hedges, Buchanan Communications and the leader of last month’s table, Tavistock Communications, drop out of the September league altogether.

‘Trade buyers are starting to see that there is still real value in the market and are getting involved again,’ said Ed Mountifield, head of research at research company Zephus, which compiled this month’s figures.

‘This is benefiting the PR agencies that are attached to the larger companies.’

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