Lighthouse gain sees Cordiant net rewards

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.

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

PR company.



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,

this year.