Consultancies unattractive to buyers

UK design consultancies are off the menu when it comes to acquisitions, with large network holding groups seeking overseas pickings or digital specialists, according to industry observers.

According to Bob Willott, editor of Marketing Services Financial Intelligence, and business accelerator Pembridge Partners, Jones Knowles Ritchie is one of very few consultancies financially attractive to buyers. Pembridge earmarks Checkland Kindleysides, Elmwood and Rufus Leonard as also ready for a possible sale.

Jim Surguy, senior partner at Results Business Consulting, says that WPP and Omnicom are looking to the Far East, Asia and Eastern Europe for greater growth and Amanda Merron, partner at Willott Kingston Smith, claims consultancies here are being overlooked when it comes to mergers and acquisitions.

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