NEWS28 July 2010

Owners close Bristol Group, but staff get new start with m5

M&A North America

CANADA— Research and marketing agency Bristol Group has been shut down by the private equity firm that owns it – but its workforce are now poised to join rival company m5.

Sage Investments shut Bristol Group down this week after the agency’s Middle Eastern operation – Bristol Gulf – caused “substantial losses” of around $3m.

In a statement Sage said: ‘It was not possible for Bristol Group to recover from those losses which resulted in a structured voluntary shutdown of its operations.”

However, Bristol Group president and CEO Louis Leger, along with other members of the management team, have taken positions with PR and marketing agency m5, which has also offered roles to the rest of the stricken company’s staff.

On top of the staff movements, Bristol Group’s Omnifacts research operation has been merged with m5’s research business, MarketQuest. Bristol Group’s vice president of research Craig Wight has been given the same role in the new merged operation.

Gary Wadden (pictured), president of the m5 Group of Companies, said that his firm will also hold “immediate” meetings with Bristol’s clients to take over contracts.

He said: “Our clear focus now is on two things: integrating new employees into m5’s corporate culture, and developing new relationships with current Bristol clients. We’re confident that our commitment to these new clients will show in our hard work and results.”

The headcount at m5 will rise from 160 to more than 230 with the addition of Bristol staff, the firm said.