Gulliford sells PR firm to Lord Bell’s Chime

SIMON Gulliford has sold his consulting firm to Lord Bell’s Chime Communications in a deal that could net the marketing boss up to £5m.

Chime will buy Gulliford Consulting for an initial £2.5m, with a further £2.25m performance related payment deferred. The deal for the entire company is mostly comprised of cash, with a small amount of stock attached. Chime will pay £1.5m immediately with a second tranche coming at the start of next year.

Gulliford has spearheaded the marketing departments for Barclays and Standard Life, as well as advising the likes of easyJet through his PR firm.

Chime shares, which jumped 2.5 per cent yesterday, have fallen by more than a third since March.

However, Lord Bell, who is a former media adviser to Margaret Thatcher, expects 2012 to be a good year for the enlarged firm in terms of sport and sponsorship, with opportunities arising from the Olympic Games.

The firm also expects to benefit from the political upheaval in the Middle East. It is currently working with the National Transitional Council in Libya, as well as the governments of Bahrain and Yemen.

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