Ruder Finn, has emerged as the PR adviser behind one of the best-kept
secrets in the world of corporate finance - the pounds 42 billion merger
of Swiss pharmaceutical firms Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy.
On 7 March the Basle-based companies revealed their intention to create
the world’s fourth-largest drugs giant. The size of the deal surpasses
Glaxo’s pounds 9.1 billion takeover of Wellcome last year.
Although it does not hold a retained account, Ruder Finn has worked for
Sandoz on several international PR programmes over the last five years.
These have included corporate and marketing communications exercises,
product promotion, internal communications and some financial work.
The agency was given notice of the merger early in the New Year, but was
only informed of the details, including the identity of the other
company, on the morning of the official announcement.
Working with Ciba’s in-house international PR team, Ruder Finn in London
organised a series of press conferences and analysts’ presentations in
Basle, London, Zurich and the US with support from its branches in New
York and Paris.
The project - thought to have netted Ruder Finn fees of around pounds
65,000 - is a huge boost for its European operation, which last month
scooped an estimated pounds 100,000 fee account from Citibank (PR Week,
The Sandoz-Ciba merger is likely to trigger a review of existing agency
support. For financial PR Ciba retains Gavin Anderson while Sandoz uses
Dewe Rogerson, although both companies - to be renamed Novotars - use a
range of other consultancies around the world.
‘We are obviously hoping we can carry on working for them,’ said Ruder
Finn’s managing director of Europe, Lee Tomkins. ‘This really
establishes us in the corporate field and shows that Ruder Finn is here
and here to stay.’