Fitch is pushing on with its drive to increase its strategic expertise and its grip on the European market, with the acquisition of French company Peclers Paris for 2.2m.
All 49 employees of the Parisian group, including 35 creative staff, will be retained, and the consultancy will trade as Fitch Peclers. Its client list includes L’OrÃ©al, Nissan and retailer La Redoute. The existing management will continue to run the company, reporting to Fitch European chief executive Jean-FranÃ§oise Bentz.
Peclers Paris was bought from Euro RSCG, France’s leading advertising and communications group, and from private shareholders.
“In our view the French market is in a period of transition,” says Fitch director Zuilmah Wallis.
As well as its design consultancy business, Peclers researches and publishes international seasonal consumer trend forecasts, 90 per cent of which are sold outside the French market. These will remain under the Peclers brand.
Wallis describes the trend forecasting service as a useful asset for Fitch. “We place more and more value on bespoke research,” she says.
Further acquisitions have not been ruled out at this stage. Wallis says negotiations were started with a number of other companies before the deal with Peclers was struck, but that Fitch is not currently in discussions with any other parties.
“We are constantly reviewing the market for opportunities,” Wallis adds.