WPP creates financial PR giant with Finsbury/SVC merger

The dog that hasn’t barked yet as the marcoms world inches back to post-pandemic normality is M&A, the big deals that everyone expects but which haven’t, so far, happened.

WPP, once the busiest acquirer, has pulled in its horns during the Mark Read regime but the big city PR company it mostly owns, Roland Rudd’s Finsbury Glover Hering, is buying private-equity-owned US operator Sard Verbinnen (SVC.)

The deal will create a PR giant worth, it says, $917m. WPP is paying $150m for shares it doesn’t currently own. The managements of both companies keep a stake.

Read says: “The demand for Board-level strategic advice on a growing range of financial, reputational and social issues has never been greater. As the reputations of companies and their brands become ever more closely linked, our leadership in this area is a core part of our offer as we support our clients’ continued transformation.

“WPP is delighted to support the ambitions of the leadership teams of Finsbury Glover Hering and SVC in creating a powerhouse in strategic communications, with the expertise, scale and footprint to provide unparalleled service to global clients.”

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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