Huntsworth Acquires Eastern European Specialist Mmd
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Huntsworth Acquires Eastern European Specialist Mmd

Huntsworth, the U.K. holding company that is parent to Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Trimedia, Grayling and several smaller specialist public relations brands, has acquired Mmd, one of the largest public relations firms in central and eastern Europe.

Paul Holmes

LONDON—Huntsworth, the U.K. holding company that is parent to Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Trimedia, Grayling and several smaller specialist public relations brands, has acquired Mmd, one of the largest public relations firms in central and eastern Europe, with offices in 18 countries across the region.

The company is also acquiring U.K. corporate and financial communications consultancy Quiller Associates, which will become part of its Hudson Sandler operation in London.

The Mmd deal establishes Huntsworth as a leader in the fast-growing Eastern European public relations market. The firm has offices in Austria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. Clients include Deutsche Telekom, Discovery Networks Europe, easyJet, GE, Google, Holcim, IBM, Intel, Mittal Steel, Rosneft, SAP, and Visa International.

Huntsworth has acquired Mmd from Anglo Irish Trust Company for an initial consideration will be £12 million, of which £7.2 million will be paid in cash and £4.8 million will be satisfied by the issue of new ordinary shares. The maximum total consideration, based on performance targets, is £35.0 million. For the year ended 30 June 2005, the Mmd group had profit before tax of £2,028,000 and gross assets of around £7 million.

Mmd’s existing management team, led by chairman Alistair McLeish, will continue to operate the business following the acquisition and will continue to partner with other firms that require a presence in the region, including public affairs specialist Apco Worldwide and technology firm Text 100—both long-term partners—as well as healthcare firm Chandler Chicco, which signed an affiliate agreement with Mmd last month.

According to Huntsworth chief executive Lord Chadlington: “Central and Eastern Europe is an area of tremendous growth and opportunity in public affairs and public relations and a key strategic hub for our global network. Together with our existing 25 offices in mainland Europe and our very strong presence in the U.K., this acquisition extends our existing presence into these fast-growing markets to create what we believe is the most comprehensive European network in the PR industry.”

Quiller Associates and its subsidiary The Quiller Consultancy will become part of Hudson Sandler, which itself became part of Huntsworth in 2004 and is one of the U.K.’s leading financial communications consultancies. Best known for its transaction work—particularly with mid-cap companies—Hudson Sandler will now have broader corporate, reputation management and public affairs capabilities.

The acquisition involves an initial consideration of £5.9 million, including £4.2 million in cash, and a maximum total consideration of £10.7 million. For the year ended 31 December 2005, Quiller had profit before tax and shareholders’ bonuses of slightly less than £1 million and gross assets of £2,750,000.

Says Andrew Hayes, chief executive of Hudson Sandler: “Quiller’s expertise is a perfect complement to our skills as we further enhance the service we can offer to our clients in a rapidly changing communications environment. Our broader offer will open up many new growth opportunities while improving the resilience of our business.”

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