Home > News > EMEA >  Lord Bell In Plans To Buy Back Bell Pottinger’s Independence 

Lord Bell In Plans To Buy Back Bell Pottinger’s Independence

EMEA, Global

Lord Bell

Arun Sudhaman 31 Jan 2012

LONDON--Chime Communications has revealed that Lord Bell and Piers Pottinger are attempting to buy back the UK’s biggest PR firm.

According to a Chime statement released earlier today, Bell, currently group chairman, and Pottinger, have been allowed to pursue the acquisition of “some of the businesses within the public relations division.”

Chime’s public relations division is typically referred to as the Bell Pottinger Group, which was launched in 1998, and reported fee income of £68m in 2010. The unit houses numerous agencies, including Bell Pottinger, Good Relations, Harvard, Fast Track, Pelham Bell Pottinger and Stuart Higgins Communications.

“No proposal has yet been made and there can be no certainty that a proposal which the board can recommend to shareholders will be forthcoming,” continues the statement.

Sources familiar with the situation told the Holmes Report that any deal is likely to include all Bell Pottinger-branded agencies, which include its public affairs, corporate and financial units. The fate of Good Relations, tech firm Harvard and sports marketing specialist Fast Track remain unclear.

The statement follows the revelation of the budding deal by Sky News city editor Mark Kleinman on Twitter this morning.

Sources noted that an approach for Bell Pottinger would be well timed. The agency lost its biggest client - a US government contract in Iraq - last year, and last month saw its reputation tarnished by a sting operation in the Independent.

Chime warned investors in late 2011 that results would not match the impressive returns it has generated in recent years. It also announced a one-off restructuring charge related to the loss of the Iraq PR contract. Chime’s PR division accounted for around half of its income prior to 2011.

The Chime statement notes that the deal is being pursued by Bell, Pottinger and “certain other members of the senior management team.”

The development follows a string of MBOs within the PR industry over the past 18 months. Matthew Freud bought back another of the UK’s biggest firms last year from Publicis Groupe, while in the US MWW and Brodeur have returned to private ownership.


comments powered by Disqus




Social Media CEOs @Social Media CEOs

RT @ekraus: Thanks to @holmesreport for the story on @apcoworldwide's leadership transition http://t.co/s9tWaxxsUj

5 hours ago ReplyRetweetFavorite
Evan Kraus @Evan Kraus

Thanks to @holmesreport for the story on @apcoworldwide's leadership transition http://t.co/s9tWaxxsUj

5 hours ago ReplyRetweetFavorite
prconversations @prconversations

By @ArunSudhaman for @HolmesReport: Egypt on Hunt for PR Firm to Revive Global Tech Appeal http://t.co/UInbLA76bA

8 hours ago ReplyRetweetFavorite

RT @mairibarton: "The role of #creativity in #PR is the industry’s biggest challenge" http://t.co/7PWI2w9e9k via @ClaireEGamble

13 hours ago ReplyRetweetFavorite
Marion Clarke @Marion Clarke

'Communications Is About Being Human' http://t.co/WB1JJT0NU7 via @HolmesReport

16 hours ago ReplyRetweetFavorite
RSS | Join Facebook Twitter Linked In

Agency Directory

Search by Clients