Cordiant buys PCI to create network

Global marketing communications group Cordiant, which owns HP:ICM,

has bought PCI LiveDesign. Prior to the acquisition, PCI had bought

Ultimate Events.

PCI, whose clients include Toyota, McDonald's and BT, will link with

HP:ICM to form a new "face-to-face marketing network". It will be headed

by PCI chief executive Richard Bamford.

Both companies stressed they would not be merging and would remain

separate in the Cordiant group.

"We do not plan to merge with HP:ICM for the foreseeable future," said

PCI marketing director Felicity Kelly. "The acquisitions means we have a

secure platform for growth and a more international reach."

HP:ICM managing director Julian Pullan added: "A merger is not on the

cards and there is no reason for our clients to be concerned. The move

seriously boosts the face-to-face element of the group. It's now the

Manchester United of our industry with some of the top brains involved

with the group."

Cordiant's acquisition brings to three the number of face-to-face

agencies in its portfolio. The group also owns Chicago outfit Avid.

PCI bought Ultimate Events, which counts Microsoft as one of its

clients, for an undisclosed sum. "The move strengthens our portfolio of

brands and doubles turnover and number of staff."

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