Virgin Rail has appointed Finsbury to handle financial PR and
public affairs ahead of a likely announcement that it is to float on the
stock market this summer.
Finsbury pitched against Citigate Communications and Ludgate
Communications for the business. Finsbury is the first external PR firm
to advise Virgin Rail although it has a dedicated press office of four
based in Birmingham, and Virgin Group’s press office headed by director
Will Whitehorn works on communications issues relating to its West Coast
Finsbury reports directly to Brian Barrett, chief executive of Virgin
Rail. The agency will attempt to draw attention away from publicity over
delays and overcrowding by raising awareness of Virgin Rail’s pounds 2
billion programme of investments and upgrades.
The decision to float hangs on securing regulatory approval for a
revenue-sharing agreement signed with Railtrack last year which would
see both firms jointly funding upgrade work on the West Coast line. A
decision from regulator John Swift is imminent.