Edelman brought in to assist Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan in UK lottery deal

Edelman's UK financial practice has been called upon to provide PR support for the Canadian investor buying lottery operator Camelot.

Edelman: helping firm buying up lottery
Edelman: helping firm buying up lottery

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan agreed to acquire the operation of the UK's National Lottery for £389m last week.

Edelman, which has an existing relationship with Teachers' in Canada, was brought in to provide PR support in the UK in the days before the announcement of the deal.

The agency has been liaising with UK media around the deal, as well as Camelot's five existing shareholders, which include Cadbury, Fujitsu and Royal Mail. All five shareholders decided to put their stakes up for sale last year, with the process eventually coming down to a shoot-out between Teachers' and the Brunswick-advised private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

The deal will go through subject to approval from Camelot's regulator, the National Lottery Commission.

Some media reports used the news to further lament the acquisition of British assets by foreign firms following Kraft Foods' takeover of Cadbury.

However, Edelman media director Jo Sheldon, who led the agency's involvement, argued the point was moot given that Camelot was already 60 per cent-owned by non-UK firms. She said the media strategy focuses on the long-term value Teachers' can bring in running the firm: 'The acquisition would be an investment by Teachers' Long-Term Equities division, so its investment strategy is focused on growing businesses over a long period of time.'

Sheldon also pointed out that Teachers' already has a strong track record in the UK, having invested in Birmingham and Bristol airports, and owning Acorn Care and Education, a provider of special needs schools.

Camelot recently won a ten-year licence to continue to run the lottery and has continued to see revenue growth despite the economic slump.

Sales have increased 11.6 per cent since 2005 and 2.7 per cent, to £2.63bn, in the six months to last September.

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