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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Triangle, Porter Novelli Int'l in Tie-Up

Porter Novelli International, the world's third-largest public relations company, joined forces Wednesday with Russia's largest PR group, Triangle, in a deal that could pave the way for their merger.

The two PR heavyweights signed an agreement Wednesday making Triangle, a partnership of agencies Image-Contact, Mikhailov & Partners and RIM, the Russian affiliate of Porter Novelli International.

"Our intention is to provide global services in any market where our clients might want to be," Porter Novelli International chairman Peter Hehir said at a news conference before the signing.

"It's always been very clear to us that Russia was a big gap in our service," he said. "If we can set a high standard for international public relations together, then we will be well placed when international business picks up in Russia."

With a strong presence in the United States, Europe, Australia and much of Asia, Porter Novelli International wants to move into other markets such as Russia and India, he said.

Under the deal, Porter Novelli International will send its clients with business in Russia to Triangle, and the Russian side will return the favor by referring its clients with needs in the West to Porter Novelli International.

"What we want out of this partnership is very simple - it's not just to get Porter Novelli International's name on our business cards," Triangle head Andrei Terebenin said. "We want to help the companies working with Porter Novelli International to properly adapt to Russia."

Porter Novelli International has a long list of international clients. Many of them, such as Federal Express, Gillette, Hewlett Packard and Lego, already have a presence in Russia. Triangle's clients include big names such as LUKoil, Russky Standart, Yukos and Sberbank.

Triangle and Porter Novelli International clients will be expected to pay each agency separately; no billings will be split between the two sides, officials said.

Also, investment in the partnership will be minimal for the time being, with most funds going for the training of Russian employees in the West.

The companies are already mulling over a possible merger, officials said. A decision, though, won't be made before next year, by which time the partners will have had a chance to see how they work together.

Wednesday's announcement is the latest in a consolidation in the consulting sector, which has been battered by Russia's economic turmoil. Just last September, Image-Contact, Mikhailov & Partners and RIM kicked off their partnership under the agency Triangle, which has a staff of about 300. Porter Novelli International has a staff of 1,822.

Other Russian PR firms have also hooked up with Western partners in recent years. PR-Bureau has tied up with No. 4 PR firm Shandwick, Rakurs PR has joined Fleishman-Hillard and Imageland with Edelman PR Worldwide.


World's 10 Leading PR Firms*

Firm Net Employees % Fee Russian

Fees** Change Partner

1. Burson-Marsteller $258.4 1,765 +4.2 -

2. Hill and Knowlton $206.0 1,570 +8.9 -

3. Porter Novelli Int'l $183.0 1,822 +23.6 Triangle

4. Shandwick $170.3 1,731 +7.3 PR-Bureau

5. Fleishman-Hillard $160.6 1,231 +19.1 Rakurs PR

6. Edelman PR Worldwide $157.8 1,636 +18.1 Imageland

7. Ketchum $125.2 1,032 +29.6 Maslov, Sokur

8. BSMG Worldwide $118.9 913 +93.0

9. Weber PR Worldwide $83.1 648 +36.2

10. GCI/APCO $79.6 763 +28.4

*Data for 1998, the most recent year available.

**(in millions of dollars)