Freud tries to go it alone as seeks split from Publicis

INFLUENTIAL pubic relations executive Matthew Freud is trying to wrest back control of his agency from Publicis – the French communications group that he sold a 50.1 per cent stake to in 2005.

The two are locked in talks to separate, a source confirmed to City A.M. last night, but are struggling to agree a valuation for Freud Communications – the UK’s largest PR consumer firm boasting the likes of Nike and Bupa as clients.

When Publicis bought the stake five years ago, the whole company was valued at around €70m-€80m, but analysts believe the figure could be higher now given that Freud has bucked the market trend with revenues continuing to rise despite the downturn. Its revenues jumped 23 per cent to £33m last year, while pre-tax profits rose 28 per cent to £6.7m.