NEWS: Two agencies chosen to advise on BT merger

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.

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

‘general business’.



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’

powers.



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.



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