Summerfield Wilmot Keene has bought EPB Communications, whose
accounts include the electrical appliance manufacturer Kenwood, Marriott
Hotels and Corus, to create what is claimed will be a £30 million
SWK is paying an undisclosed sum for EPB, formed 18 months ago when the
US agency group Earl Palmer Brown merged its London agency, The Square,
with Buckfield Lord.
Under the deal, SWK will become the UK strategic partner of EPB's
holding company, the Panoramic Group, and give it access to New Edge, a
federation of eight European agencies that covers 14 markets, of which
SWK is a member.
SWK's chairman, Malcolm Summerfield, said: "Not only does EPB have some
talented people who will fit well here but it works with its clients in
the same way that we do. We both get involved in the total
The takeover throws up no account conflicts, although Summerfield
acknowledged there might be a "handful" of redundancies.
The EPB name will disappear and its staff will transfer to the SWK
EPB's director of PR, Colin Borg, will join the SWK board with
responsibility for internal and external communications.
SWK has had a chequered history since its formation six years ago. In
1998 it pulled out of a proposed merger with the Osprey group and spent
just a year as part of 10 Group before buying itself out.