Finsbury Glover Hering is negotiating to acquire communications competitor Sard Verbinnen

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Professional Service Update

According to people familiar with the matter, Finsbury Glover Hering, a WPP-backed corporate communications company, is in talks to acquire US competitor Sard Verbinnen.

If this transaction is completed, it will be The latest example of integration Engaged in the lucrative business of providing strategic and financial communication advice and lobbying services to companies, boards of directors and high-net-worth clients.

Through the merger with Sard, FGH will select a New York-based company that is one of the leading advisers on mergers and acquisitions and the spread of activism in the United States.

Sard ranked second in 2020, second only to Joele Frank in New York Industry Ranking Table Produced by Mergermarket, it is based on the total value of the transactions the company engages in.

Negotiations have been going on for several weeks, partly driven by Golden Gate Capital, a US-based private equity firm, which has been considering acquiring a 40% stake in Sard.

Golden Gate acquired Sard’s shares for US$150 million in 2016 to help the American company expand globally. However, the company’s efforts to expand its business in the UK and Asia have encountered setbacks.

A person close to the negotiations said that the negotiations were complicated by many factors including the transaction structure. Both companies declined to comment.

Sard was founded in 1992 when George Sard left the public relations firm Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart and his colleague Paul Verbinnen founded a new company and brought them clients including Morgan Stanley. In total, the company employed more than 200 employees, but during the Golden Gate transaction, several of its senior consultants left.

FGH itself Was created Last year, the merger of the three companies — Finsbury in London, the Glover Park Group based in Washington, DC, and Herring Schupner, headquartered in Frankfurt — were all controlled by the British advertising group WPP.

The merger created a new US company with annual revenue of more than $200. WPP holds 50.01% of the company’s shares and aims to acquire other global companies such as Brunswick Group and Teneo. In FGH and Sard, the partners own the rest of the company.

FGH has 800 employees and 19 offices around the world. It is run by CEO Alexander Geiser, who was previously the managing partner of Hering Schuppener. Finsbury founder Roland Rudd and Glover Park co-founder Carter Eskew are the co-chairs of the company.

People close to FGH have previously stated that the company is likely to consider an initial public offering in the next 18-36 months.

In June, FGH’s main competitor Brunswick Agree to sell With a 10.7% stake in BDT Capital Partners, the company is valued at approximately 500 million pounds and paid 70 million pounds for its founder Sir Alan Parker.

Teneo, in which the private equity firm CVC has invested more than US$450 million and has a controlling stake, Encountered a reputation crisis In the past year, this led to the departure of its two founders, Doug Band and Declan Kelly.

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