College Group buys Russian IR arm of Shared Value

Apr 11, 2013
<p>Latest deal is third big acquisition since 2011 cash injection</p>

Strategic communications firm College Group has strengthened its Russian operations with the purchase of Shared Value's regional operations. With Mark Walter and Galyna Kulachek at the helm, the Shared Value team – along with its clients – will now join the College Hill Capital Markets division of the College Group, according to a company statement.

College Hill says it is committed to building its business in the region, something that will be strengthened by the purchase of a specialist investor and PR consultancy focused on northern Europe, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which comprises several former Soviet republics.

The company adds that it is ‘one of the leading consultancies in the region’, advising FTSE-listed firms as well as unlisted companies and GDR issuers, and handling CIS and Russian IPOs.

The acquisition of Shared Value’s operations in the region means College Hill will now be advising more than 25 businesses across Russia and the CIS, according to its press release.

Welcoming the Shared Value team to the group, Paul Downes, chief executive of College Hill Capital Markets, says: ‘We have experienced strong growth from Russia over the past couple of years and work with an increasing number of listed Russian and CIS companies.’

Andrew Best, Shared Value founder and managing partner, adds in the statement: ‘College Group offers the team an excellent platform on which to build the business we have developed in Russia and the CIS. The newly combined business has a real depth of knowledge and experience and offers a market-leading service to clients based in or doing business within Russia and the CIS.’

The purchase of Shared Value, for an undisclosed sum, is College Group’s third acquisition since its private equity group Vitruvian Partners bought a majority stake in the company in October 2011, valuing College Group at around £45 mn ($69 mn) at the time. Since then, College Group bought London-based Merlin Financial Communications in August last year and German firm Haubrok Investor Relations in November.

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