Billed as one of the largest mergers in PR history, Ketchum announced plans to merge with Omnicom's Pleon, a communications and consultancy shop headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Ketchum has worked with Pleon for clients before, said Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO at Ketchum. Talks about a merger between the two companies began a year ago.
The companies began the integration process in July, and hope to have completed the merger by the end of the year, according to a Ketchum spokesperson. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Pleon's profile in Europe is very high end,” including board room corporate communications, consulting, financial and public affairs and social responsibility,” said Kotcher.
Ketchum will add a concentration in healthcare-focused marketing communications to the mix. According to Kotcher, neither company anticipates any reductions in staff. “We're both coming together from a position of power,” he said.
The new firm will operate as Ketchum globally and as Ketchum Pleon in the UK and across continental Europe. Kotcher will lead operations, with Timo Sieg, previously chairman and CEO of Pleon, serving as CEO of Europe.
Other leadership positions at the company include: David Gallagher, president of Europe, senior partner, CEO London; Mark Hume, chief financial officer; Jon Higgins, senior partner, CEO international; Dale Bornstein, senior partner, global practices; Rob Flaherty, senior partner and president; Rob Lorfink, senior partner, COO and CFO; Jerry Olszewski, senior partner and chief client officer; Barri Rafferty, senior partner and director, New York; and Lorraine Thelian, senior partner, North America.
Global headquarters will be located in New York, with the European headquarters in Germany.