Hanover Group buys Bell Pottinger’s Middle East business

BDO is working to slavage what it can form collapsed PR firm


Hanover Group has acquired the Middle Eastern assets of Bell Pottinger, the communications firm that collapsed after it was accused of stoking racial tensions in South Africa as part of its work for the Gupta family.

Financial terms of the deal, which represents another step towards the break-up of the troubled firm, were not disclosed.

Bell Pottinger’s Asian business recently said it would re-brand itself as Klareco while Heather Kerzner, the fiancée of James Henderson, Bell Pottinger’s former chief executive, instructed the London law firm Grosvenor Law to explore ways of clawing back some of her investment in the company.

In September, a majority of Bell Pottinger’s 250 staff were made redundant. The accountancy firm BDO has been working to salvage what it can from the company, one of Britain’s best known public relations firms.

Archie Berens, the managing director of Bell Pottinger Middle East, will join Hanover as part of the deal. “The Middle East team are a great fit [and ] bringing Archie and the team on board creates scale and presence…for Hanover in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Joe Hine, a partner at partner at SI Partners, which led the deal negotiations. He added that the sale “provides an excellent platform for growth for the combined business”.

Hanover Group has represented clients such as Apple, De Beers and Betfair. The company has locations in London, Brussels, Dublin and the Middle East.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017