Advertising and marketing services group McCann-Erickson has
heralded its intention to become a global PR player with the acquisition
of financial and corporate PR firm Ludgate Group.
The deal, which was hammered out last Friday, sees McCann-Erickson
acquire 100 per cent of the company, including the 27.6 per cent stake
previously held by venture capitalists Granville Private Equity
Both parties declined to disclose terms, although industry sources
estimate the deal to be worth over pounds 10 million. Ludgate’s
operating profits last year rose by 15 per cent to pounds 1.5 million.
Worldwide fee income reached pounds 10 million.
The company will become part of McCann-Erickson’s global PR interests,
Weber PR Worldwide, but will retain the Ludgate brand and operate
Ludgate chief executive Tim Trotter also becomes deputy chairman of
Weber PR Worldwide under chairman Larry Weber. His hi-tech agency Weber
Group was acquired by McCann-Erickson in December (PR Week, December
1996) and forms the core of the group’s emerging global PR network.
Weber said that McCann-Erickson’s goal was to be a top ten global PR
firm over the next five years with a capability in each of the main
He added that McCann-Erickson would next turn its attention to
healthcare and public affairs and that it was already negotiating with a
’Our strategy is to find the best in a number of categories and Ludgate
gives our group a real global perspective in the financial PR and
investor relations field,’ said Weber.
The company recently brought its five UK regional PR agencies together
as McCann-Erickson PR.