20 Nov 2017

Hanover Middle East has signed an agreement to acquire the shares of Bell Pottinger Middle East in Dubai and its operating licence in Abu Dhabi.

Hanover Middle East is the subsidiary of the Hanover Group, Europe’s fastest growing corporate communications and public affairs consultancy, which already has offices in London, Brussels and Dublin.

The sale was negotiated by BDO LLP, the insolvency practitioners acting for the Administrator of Bell Pottinger Private Limited, the UK-based public relations firm that collapsed in September.

Bell Pottinger Middle East was not involved in the controversy that led to the collapse of the UK business and has successfully traded through the affair under the leadership of Managing Director Archie Berens. The business has a raft of blue chip clients in the region, who have remained supportive during this time.

Hanover founder and Chief Executive Charles Lewington said: ‘Bell Pottinger Middle East is a terrific business with a talented, professionally run team which presents a strategic opportunity for Hanover to supercharge its growth in the region.’

The acquisition will add 14 consultants to Hanover’s EMEA team of 125 and take its 2018 fee income to over £20 million. Hanover specialises in strategic consultancy advice in the financial services, healthcare, technology, media and telecoms sectors and has a separate sports creative agency, The Playbook.

Hanover Middle East MD Jonty Summers will become Managing Director of the combined business and Archie Berens will become Chairman. They will be supported by Director Amy Piek. Its name will change to Hanover Middle East.

Mr Berens said: ‘I am delighted we have found a professional partner for our first-class team, whom I would like to thank for their loyalty and dedication during the uncertainty of the last two months. I would also like to thank our clients for their patience, support and encouragement. Hanover is an award-winning consultancy and incredibly well run, and we are looking forward to an exciting future together.’

A spokesman for BDO said: ‘We are delighted to have found a new home for a strong team, while also continuing to return value to Bell Pottinger’s creditors.’