PR war hots up over M&S control

Finsbury and Tulchan Communications are squaring off against each other for the increasingly bitter battle over retail icon Marks & Spencer.

Billionaire BHS and Arcadia owner Philip Green has brought in Finsbury co-founder Rupert Younger to advise him on his putative bid for M&S, which this week hired new management and dropped Brunswick as corporate and financial PR adviser after six years.

New M&S chief executive Stuart Rose brought in Tulchan Communications founder Andrew Grant on Bank Holiday Monday after it was announced Rose was to replace Roger Holmes as the company’s CEO.

Green used Finsbury for his successful hostile takeover of Top Shop owner Arcadia (PRWeek, 23 August 2002). Rose was then chief executive of Arcadia, and used Tulchan to fight the bid.

Green was expected to make a formal offer through bid vehicle Revival Acquisitions this week. The deal would give M&S shareholders cash and Revival shares.

It emerged this week that M&S’s lawyers, Slaughter and May, were seeking an injunction to stop Green’s lawyers acting for him because of an alleged conflict of interest.

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