FD Completes Buyout from Cordiant
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FD Completes Buyout from Cordiant

The management of investor relations and corporate communications firm Financial Dynamics—parent of New York IR specialist FD Morgen-Walke, has completed its management buyout from parent company Cordiant.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK—The management of investor relations and corporate communications firm Financial Dynamics—parent of New York IR specialist FD Morgen-Walke, has completed its management buyout from parent company Cordiant. The deal was concluded with the assistance of Advent International, a global private equity firm, and will cost about $42 million.

FD’s services include financial PR, investor relations, crisis and issues management and corporate, business-to-business & business-to-consumer communications.  FD is also a market leader in M&A advisory work. Its clients include companies in consumer industries, financial services, basic industries, business services, life sciences and healthcare, media, technology and telecommunications.

According to chief executive Charles Watson, following the buyout FD will “expand its service offerings in all its key markets, explore new product areas and make selective acquisitions and investments to expand the company’s geographic coverage.”

In addition, says Watson, “generous new share-ownership and incentive schemes are being introduced for the existing FD team and to facilitate recruitment of the best talent within the communications industry.”  On completion of the MBO, FD’s current and future employees are expected to own over 40 per cent of the shares of the business.

Says John Singer, an Advent managing director who will join Financial Dynamics’ board, “Financial Dynamics is a fantastic brand and one that we have long admired.  The fact that it has continued
to generate growth and strengthen its market position in an economic downturn is testimony to its entrepreneurial management team and to the quality, breadth and unique structure of the business.”

Says Watson, “This is a very exciting development both for the FD team and for our clients.  In Advent we have found a partner who genuinely understands our business and backs ur growth strategy. In giving us the means to retain and recruit the very best talent in our industry and to continue FD’s development as a broadly-based international communications consultancy, our partnership with Advent marks a major milestone in the development of this business and will further enhance the service we provide to our clients.”

The MBO is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, subject to the approval of Cordiant’s shareholders.

Meanwhile, Cordiant’s impending sale to WPP Group continues to generate unusual storylines. This week, the U.K.’s Takeover Panel, which regulates mergers and acquisitions, launched an investigation into stock trades conducted by Nahed Ojjeh, a Syrian chess promoter who has bought over a tenth of Cordiant’s shares. It says the purchases were not declared quickly enough.

The  purchases began on June 10 and continued until July 4, two weeks after Cordiant received a rescue bid from WPP.

Meanwhile, meetings are expected next week to discuss WPP’s £266m takeover offer and Active Value’s plan to keep the company independent.

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