Financial PR agency Brunswick has stepped down from its accounts
with Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham after merger talks between
the two companies fell through this week.
Both used Brunswick as retained City PR agency for the merger talks but
Alan Parker’s agency is believed to have stepped down for an unspecified
Gavin Anderson has been appointed to handle financial PR for SmithKline,
but it is not known whether Glaxo Wellcome has appointed a new
In a statement, Gavin Anderson said: ’We expect to be retained on a
project basis but that SmithKline will retain Brunswick once this is
over.’ Brunswick is also likely to return to Glaxo Wellcome as well.
Since news of the breakdown in merger talks surfaced on Tuesday morning
shares in the two companies have been hit. As PR Week went to press
Glaxo Wellcome shares were down 248p to 1656p and SmithKline shares down
83p to 724p.
Gavin Anderson’s task is to weather the storm in the City for
It will report to James Hill, Smith-Kline’s director of
Hill was not available for comment.
Merger talks between the two pharmaceuticals giants broke down over
disagreements concerning proposed boardroom appointments at the merged
company. Sir Richard Sykes, Glaxo’s chairman, planned to run the company
alongside SmithKline’s chief executive Jan Leschly. However, disputes
are thought to have centred around other positions on the board.
A SmithKline Beecham spokesperson said: ’There was a whole basketful of
SmithKline blames Glaxo, saying that it reneged on agreements made
before the merger announcement on January 30. It is the second time in a
month that merger talks involving SmithKline have failed. A proposed
deal with American Home Products also failed to materialise.
The new company would have been the largest in the world after General
Electric with a market capitalisation of pounds 110 billion.