Dewe Rogerson and Bruns-wick have emerged as the PR advisers to the
biggest deal in British corporate history - the proposed merger between
BT and Cable and Wireless.
Brunswick was hired by Cable and Wireless without a pitch last Monday,
four days after the company announced it was restarting exploratory
talks with BT. It is the first time C&W has used a financial PR
specialist, although it retains Lowe Bell Consultants for what it calls
Led by Alan Parker, the three-strong Brunswick team’s role is advisory
rather than logistical - routine press enquiries continue to be handled
by C&W’s two-strong in-house press and PR team.
Peter Eustace, C&W media relations manager, confirmed the agency had
been brought in to ‘offer Cable and Wireless the benefits of their
advice and experience on the PR aspects of the merger talks that are
going on with BT’.
He added: ‘We felt it was something on which we wanted a fresh view’.
While confirming that Lowe Bell was not currently involved in the merger
talks he said they would be ‘as and when necessary when there is any
overlap on the merger issue’.
Meanwhile BT is using the services of a two-strong team from Dewe
Rogerson, led by chief executive Cary Martin. The agency was called in
by BT’s head of corporate media relations, Ted Graham, several months
ago to advise on the PR implications of its opposition to regulator
OFTEL’s proposals for tough new price curbs and sweeping ‘fair trading’
It was, said Graham, ‘a natural progression’ to involve them during the
course of the merger talks. He confirmed that Angus Maitland, of The
Maitland Consultancy (BT’s retained PR adviser for more than eight
years) was also working on the OFTEL review but had no involvement in
the merger talks. ‘But that is not to say the remit will not be
extended’, he added.
The proposed merger of BT and Cable and Wireless would create Britain’s
biggest company with a market capitalisation of some pounds 35 billion.