Lord Bell's Chime agrees to merge its Bell Pottinger unit with Pelham PR

CHIME, the communications firm led by former Tory spin-doctor Lord Bell, has agreed to merge its Bell Pottinger Corporate and Financial business with rival Pelham Public Relations.<br /><br />Chime will own a majority stake in the enlarged business, which will be called Pelham Bell Pottinger. Pelham chief executive James Henderson &ndash; who launched the firm five years ago this week &ndash; will become managing director of the new business.<br /><br />Henderson said that he was &ldquo;very excited&rdquo; about the deal, and about taking the firm to the next level.<br /><br />&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve become an established player over five years, but we are not quite top flight yet in financial public relations,&rdquo; he said. <br /><br />&ldquo;But this move means we can attract the best talent and take on the big boys.&rdquo;<br /><br />Privately-owned Pelham reported a pre-tax profit of &pound;880,000 for the 16 months to the end of 2008, on a turnover of around &pound;8.2m. <br /><br />Father-of four-Henderson co-founded Pelham after leaving College Hill Associates, where he had worked for 15 years. His areas of expertise are the oil and gas, insurance, utilities and luxury goods sectors.<br /><br />Described by associates as work-focused and dedicated, Henderson is also known for chasing the sunshine with his family and for running marathons &ndash; though he says the latter is &ldquo;more about keeping sane than keeping fit&rdquo;.

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