The news comes as the global M&A market reaches a fever pitch not seen since the dotcom boom of 2000.
Independently owned APCO Worldwide effectively becomes the PA arm of Maitland's global network AMO, creating a total pool of 700 employees.
AMO/APCO aim to offer attractive PR services to multinational firms that, they say, are trying to manage ‘the converging challenges of complex capital market transactions and sensitive public affairs issues'.
Maitland founder Angus Maitland told PRWeek: ‘Our core business is financial PR, specifically hostile cross-border M&As, and we're finding a bigger role of government in these mergers. Our competitors are building nascent PA practices, but we're looking for something a bit different.'
Maitland and APCO have worked together on M&A deals - most recently CSN's attempt to sabotage Tata Steel's takeover of Corus - but now want to formalise the partnership.
Brad Staples, APCO chief executive EMEA, said: ‘We're offering a more holistic service to clients. Companies are now calling on PA consultants to look at the regulatory hurdles right at the start of their trans-actions. The big value of the deals we're seeing today means it is inevitable that they are going to be referred to government.'
APCO, headquartered in Washington DC, has also become one of the most influential consultancies in Brussels, where Staples said it has now handled 28 second-phase investigations of corporate mergers.
The partnership does not involve any equity exchange but Maitland stressed it was ‘more than just a shake of hands'. APCO will be AMO's exclusive partner in public affairs, and the two networks will jointly market their services via marcoms and roadshows.
They hope to compete with bigger UK firms such as Brunswick, Finsbury and Financial Dynamics in securing work on multinational takeover deals.