INTERNATIONAL: APCO and EPPA look at strategic alliance

BRUSSELS: US lobbying firm APCO and Brussels-based European Public Policy Advisers (EPPA) are in discussions to form a possible strategic alliance.

BRUSSELS: US lobbying firm APCO and Brussels-based European Public

Policy Advisers (EPPA) are in discussions to form a possible strategic

alliance.



The relationship being discussed by the two firms would involve pitching

jointly to clients where appropriate, rather than an equity swap.



Scott Hamilton, chairman and chief executive officer of EPPA, said: ’We

are talking with APCO about starting a co-operation. EPPA is in places

where APCO is not and vice versa. If it appears we can reach some form

of strategic arrangement we would do that.’



EPPA has 24 offices in Europe and in Washington DC. APCO has 11

wholly-owned offices worldwide and a strong presence in the UK. While

EPPA has a London office, it is used as a bridge between UK clients and

the firm’s Brussels lobbying operation, rather than to lobby the UK

Government.



However EPPA last week announced a new appointment which it hopes will

lead to more lobbying in Westminster. Nicolas Gibbon, founder of

Vigilant, a small UK public affairs company, has joined EPPA as a senior

adviser.



Vigilant will be merged into EPPA.



EPPA’s clients include British Telecom, Whitbread, and the UK Bankers

Association. APCO’s clients include Federal Express, London Electricity

and PPP Healthcare Group.



Any relationship between the two firms would place a question mark over

EPPA’s existing joint venture with Sir Tim Bell’s Chime

Communications.



The venture, agreed in May last year, allows the two companies to pitch

jointly to clients. Hamilton said: ’Chime is the subject of internal

discussions. We have a lot to talk about yet. What we’re trying to do at

the moment is forge a number of relationships and partnerships.’



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