Financial communications and M&A specialist
Tulchan Communications Andrew Grant is a veteran of U.K. public relations giants Burson-Marsteller and Brunswick, where he handled his share of major mergers and acquisitions before deciding to strike out on his own in May of 2000. Tulchan quickly established itself as one of a number of “young guns” on the M&A scene, challenging the established leaders and really making its mark in 2004 when it was selected over more established competitors to represent retail giant Marks & Spencer during its high-profile battle with would-be buyer Philip Green and won the media battle and helping the M&S management team fend off Green’s unwanted advances.
Tulchan, with about 20 client-facing staff and four analysts, might not have the bench strength of some of its more established competitors, it has a formidable first team, including former investment bankers Hilary Bowman and David Trenchard; Julie Foster (ex-Fishburn Hedges and Brunswick); Kirstie Hamilton (former city editor of The Sunday Times); and Susanna Voyle, who leads the media training business Vox Media. Alison Canning, another B-M alum, who founded Cohn & Wolfe in the U.K. and recently helmed social responsibility consultancy First&42nd, is non-executive director. Recent additions to the staff include Miranda Acland, former head of communications for EMAP, where she had responsibility for investor relations as well as media; and Jane Atkin, who was managing director at First & 42nd.
Tulchan specializes in financial communications, helping clients make their investment case, dealing with financial media, managing expectations among the sell-side media, and advising on critical situations including M&As, IPOs, management changes, and other crises—all driven by the belief that companies are best served by maintaining an open dialogue with the financial media and the investment community. The firm was ranked seventh in Europe by value of deals managed in the first half of 2005, according to mergermarket, and sixth in the U.K., with the FT hailing Grant as a “street-fighter.”
The firm advised Euroclear surrounding the potential bids for the London Stock Exchange; Whitbread on the acquisition of Premier Lodge and the £1 billion sale of Marriott Hotels; Lord Kirkham during the delisting of DFS; Woolworths on the approach from Apax; Permira on a possible offer for W H Smith; and BLB Consortium on its bid for Wembley. Current assignments include advising Royal P & O Nedlloyd on a recommended offer from Maersk and advising Scottish Power on the sale of Pacificorp to Mid American. Ongoing clients include Arriva, Dixons, Daily Mail and General Trust, Sage, Scottish Power, Whitbread, and Woolworths. New clients over the past 12 months include Euroclear, Homeserve, GE Financial Services, and Royal P & O Nedlloyd.
The firm’s flat organizational structure—more like a consulting firm than a traditional PR agency—is a strength. Its lack of international capabilities a perceived weakness, although Tulchan has worked with other independent consultancies in France, Germany, and Spain, and has a relationship with international investor relations giant Taylor Rafferty.