Cordiant this week became the world’s tenth-largest communications
group with the pounds 392 million acquisition of Lighthouse, the
US-based marketing services specialist.
The sale brings some well-known names to the Cordiant fold, including
Financial Dynamics, the financial and business communications company,
and Fitch, the international design and brand consultancy.
The deal will boost Cordiant’s marketing services revenue from 32 to 47
per cent of its total income and is in line with the policy of Michael
Bungey, Cordiant’s chairman, of moving the group away from its
dependency on above-the-line advertising.
Cordiant has been constantly mooted as a possible takeover target in a
cons-olidating communications world. ’This acquisition not only gives us
extra muscle but makes us more attractive,’ Bungey said.
This week’s announcement comes after four months of negotiations. ’We’re
pleased we could convince Lighthouse that our stock has future
potential,’ Bungey added.
Lighthouse, with 1,100 employees worldwide, has a raft of blue-chip
clients including IBM and Microsoft. Its UK interests include
Communicator, the consumer marketing specialist.
Colgate-Palmolive on its client roster, and Clarion Communications, the
Cordiant says addition of Lighthouse will enhance its combined revenues
from the key North American market from 27 to 35 per cent. It is also
expected to help the group realise its target of 14 per cent operating
margins earlier than expected.
The group has been involved in a run of acquisition activity, having
bought Healthworld Corporation and Diamond, the South Korean agency,