NEWS: Agencies line up for Ciba spin-off

Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical group formed by the merger of Ciba- Geigy and Sandoz in April, is hunting for a PR agency to support the planned spin-off of Ciba’s specialist chemicals division.

Novartis, the Swiss pharmaceutical group formed by the merger of Ciba-

Geigy and Sandoz in April, is hunting for a PR agency to support the

planned spin-off of Ciba’s specialist chemicals division.



Specialising in the production of high performance chemicals such as

dyes, additives and polymers, Ciba Speciality Chemicals will be hived

off as an independent company in the first quarter of 1997. Shares in

the new firm will be listed on the Swiss stock exchange and transferred

to Novartis’ existing shareholders.



Ciba is looking for an agency to help create a corporate profile for

Ciba Speciality Chemicals and give hands on support during and

immediately after the new company’s launch.



Kai Romot, head of communications for the Speciality Chemicals division,

confirmed that Ciba had seen credentials from several agencies, but she

remained vague about a likely brief and even whether an appointment

would be made at all. ‘We have asked several companies to come up with

ideas and we have had quite a few agencies come to see us,’ she said.



However, sources claim that the recruitment process is much further

advanced and has been narrowed down to a shortlist of three agencies,

including Burson-Marsteller and Dewe Rogerson.



Novartis has yet to decide which agency it will choose to manage

financial PR and investor relations. Sandoz uses Gavin Anderson while

Ciba retains Dewe Rogerson. A decision will probably be made later this

autumn, assuming the merger is granted approval from the US Federal

Trade Commission.



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