Despite Edelman’s European president and CEO David Brain and JCPR founder Robert Phillips both denying talks were even ongoing as recently as last week, the pair, together with Edelman’s global CEO Richard Edelman and JCPR’s co-founder Jackie Cooper, unveiled the acquisition this week.
It brings to an end 17 years of independent ownership at JCPR, though the agency will retain its own brand identity and will not relocate to Edelman’s Haymarket offices. Cooper and Phillips expect to remain with the firm during an unusually long six year earn-out.
Richard Edelman, who said the idea was first mooted of buying or merging with JCPR close to ten years ago, said: ‘The rationale for us is that this deal completes us. We’ve never cracked consumer in the UK for the last 20 years - despite some fits and starts we have been missing what is the essence of Edelman.’
Explaining the way the combined business – with annualised fee income of £15m – will run, Phillips said: ‘They didn’t buy us to change us. They bought us because they liked the work we do.’
Explaining their earlier denials, the parties said a non-disclosure agreement had been signed which meant they had ‘specific legal advice’ to deny the talks were taking place.