Magazine article Marketing

PR Leads from Front as Buy-Up Battle Rages: Companies Involved in Takeover Tussles Now Ignore PR at Their Peril

Magazine article Marketing

PR Leads from Front as Buy-Up Battle Rages: Companies Involved in Takeover Tussles Now Ignore PR at Their Peril

Article excerpt

PR leads from front as buy-up battles rage

Public relations advice has emerged as a critical resource in the current Kingfisher Dixon bid. Its prominence serves as a timely reminder to companies to get their takeover defence plans in order well before the first battle cry sounds.

"Ignore the role of the press at your own peril," says Nigel Whittaker, corporate affairs director of Kingfisher, whose controversial bid for Dixons is under investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.

Courting the press is not just a matter of instructing your PR firm to send out a few press releases. Companies should invite their financial PR firm into the corporate "war rooms" set up to wage takeover battles along with the merchant bankers, accountants and legal advisers.

Investor relations, too, demand much more than a knee-jerk reaction to crisis.

"The most important factor at the end of the day is being close to major institutional shareholders, which depend on an ongoing investor relations programme," says George Welham, chairman of Burson-Marsteller Financial. …

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