WPP buys financial PR agency Finsbury
LONDON - UK financial public relations firm Finsbury has finally been sold to its original suitor, WPP Group, for an undisclosed sum after lengthy negotiations and several potential buyers.
WPP first entered talks with Finsbury last year with the intention of adding the PR firm to its growing list of non-advertising businesses, but negotiations collapsed in November.
It is understood that WPP was offering around £40m at the time but Finsbury directors were unhappy about the long earn-out period included in the deal.
After the talks collapsed, Finsbury was approached by various interested parties, which are believed to include Thomson Financial, the Interpublic Group of Companies, Incepta and Canadian PR group Mosaic. Mosaic was said to be offering around £20m.
This morning, WPP announced it has acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Finsbury.
Founded in 1994, Finsbury reported revenues of £82m in the year to October 31 2000 and net assets of £411,000. Its client list includes such names as Cable & Wireless, Sainsbury's, Great Universal Stores, Lloyds TSB, London Stock Exchange and Centrica.
Finsbury will operate as an independent unit within WPP and will open an office in New York to serve European and US clients.
WPP has been expanding into areas other than traditional advertising, such as public relations and direct marketing, as chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell believes these areas are more profitable.
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