Fishburn Hedges has been bought by advertising group Abbot Mead Vickers in a potential 15m deal cemented with an initial 4m cash payment.
The deal will not affect the day-to-day running of the five-year-old consultancy, according to Fishburn Hedges chief executive Neil Hedges. “We’ll maintain considerable autonomy from the parent AMV group, and our projections indicate that we’ll grow,” he says.
Four additional payments, dependent on the consultancy’s performance over the period to 31 December 1999, also make up part of the deal.
The maximum payment is limited to 15m and to achieve this, Fishburn Hedges will have to produce an average annual pre-tax profit of 2.25m in 1998 and 1999. Unaudited management accounts for the year ended 31 December 1995 show a pre-tax profit of more than 1.1m.
Incentive bonus schemes for senior management are part of the acquisition arrangements.
“We looked at other options for growth, including flotation, but the advantages of being part of a larger communications group and growing within that was the most attractive option,” says Hedges.
AMV chairman David Abbott says: “Corporate communications is a significant area in which our group is currently under-represented.”
Fishburn Hedges’ expertise in financial services will widen the range of services we can offer in this sector,” he adds.