Brunswick guru Sir Alan Parker to bank £70m windfall from the sale of stake in the PR giant
Communications guru Sir Alan Parker will net £70million from the sale of a stake in public relations giant Brunswick.
Parker, 65, co-founded Brunswick in 1987 and turned it into a global firm that represents more than a fifth of the companies on the FTSE 100.
Under the deal American merchant bank BDT will buy an 11 per cent stake in Brunswick, which Parker chairs.
Sir Alan Parker (pictured) co-founded Brunswick in 1987 and turned it into a global firm that represents more than a fifth of the companies on the FTSE 100
The investment values the PR firm at £500million. It plans to hand a £140million payout to its 200 partners who own Brunswick shares when the investment completes later this summer.
Parker is set to receive £70million from this pot. But Brunswick will also distribute £18million among ‘virtually everyone in the firm’ who is not a partner, according to a letter sent to staff seen by the Daily Mail.
Parker launched the firm – which he co-founded with Louise Charlton and Andrew Fenwick – during Margaret Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister when the City of London was rapidly becoming a global financial centre.
He is one of the most connected men in Britain, counting celebrities, businessmen and politicians on both sides of the political divide among his friends.
Gordon Brown – whose wife Sarah once worked at Brunswick – is the godfather to his son William. And when David Cameron left Number 10, he stayed in Parker’s west London mansion.
Brunswick employs 1,300 in 27 cities around the world. Its core expertise is in political lobbying and traditional corporate communications. But it now also advises on areas including cybersecurity and climate change.
Under the BDT deal, Parker, Charlton and Fenwick will sell additional shares worth about 4 per cent of the company to free them up for other people.
But Parker does not intend to step down as chairman.
He wrote in the letter: ‘I have always believed that as the firm grows, my shareholding should be diluted to provide new equity to the expanding partnership.
‘One thing that is certainly not diluted is my commitment and enthusiasm for the firm.’
He added: ‘As you probably know I am as energised as ever and I want to play my part in fulfilling the potential that I can see and what should be a great next step for all of us.’
Parker describes Brunswick as an idea ‘drawn up on the table in my mum’s kitchen’.
The businessman has worked on controversial deals and crises – such as representing Pfizer in its botched attempt to buy Astrazeneca.
But his reputation was knocked when he was forced to resign earlier than planned as the international chairman of Save the Children in 2018, following a scandal into sexual harassment complaints lodged against two members of staff.
The deal with BDT means the company will restructure from a limited liability partnership and incorporate as a private company.
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