Brunswick's Williams to lead 3 flotation charge

Video mobile network 3 has poached Brunswick director Ed Williams as parent company Hutchison Whampoa plots a stock market listing of the firm in the UK.

Williams, who has been at Brunswick for six years and is a former PR adviser to US general and presidential hopeful Wesley Clark, is to join 3 as director of corporate comms next month. He will report to corporate affairs director Mark Rigby.

While at Brunswick, Williams worked on the Barclay brothers' acquisition of the Telegraph Group and financial comms account with British Airways.

He has also acted as speechwriter for Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer and advised Clark during his appearance at the trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in The Hague last year.

Williams joined Brunswick from GMTV where he worked as a producer, reporter and news editor. His appointment at 3 is a signal that Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa is preparing to recoup some of the billions of pounds it has invested in 3G technology.

At the beginning of this year it admitted to spending £1.6bn on 3G in 2004, and said it planned to float its Italian video mobile business towards the end of this year with a listing of 3 UK following in 2006.

Analysts are watching 3 UK, which is expected to break even on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) later this year. The ebitda measure is particularly important because it takes into account the cost of acquiring new customers. 3 UK has more than three million users.

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