Huntsworth set for further expansion

Huntsworth is to buy Bristol-based agency Strategy Communications and Summit Holdings in the US as part of an acquisition spree aimed at forming a major international comms group.

The first deal will see Huntsworth enhance its regional UK network. Under the terms, Huntsworth will pay £512,000 in cash for Strategy with a deferred performance-based payment of between £300,000 and £500,000 in either cash or shares in 18 months.

Strategy, which had revenues in excess of £1m last year, will merge with Huntsworth’s Harrison Cowley office in Bristol.

Harrison Cowley chief executive Paul Kelly will join the board of Strategy immediately, but overall management will remain under existing MD Ian Muir.

Muir left Harrison Cowley in 1990, where he was a director in Bristol, to set up Strategy, whose clients include Land Securities Group, the Environment Agency, Business West and Thomson’s Wealth Management.

Huntsworth CEO Lord Chadlington said: ‘We want to build Bristol into a strong pivotal base, but the main thing we need is more management, and that’s what [Muir] brings.’

Summit Holdings, a corporate PR and public affairs agency in Chicago, will be rebranded as The Global Consulting Group to expand the US network Huntsworth acquired in 2002.

The deal will see Huntsworth pay out $961,243 (£640,000) in cash and shares.

The announcement comes less than two months after Huntsworth snapped up three other agencies – Trimedia, Hudson Sandler and Grayling (PRWeek, 19 March).

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