READING, UK--British oil and gas giant BG Group has ended a lengthy relationship with Maitland and shifted its financial PR account to Brunswick.

The company has worked with Maitland since it was launched in 1997, when British Gas divested Centrica to become BG Group.

Grappling with an eroding market value that has seen it tagged as a takeover target, BG Group began a review of its financial PR relationship last year. According to external communications manager Mark Todd, it was a "tough decision" to cut ties with Maitland, following a final round pitch against Brunswick.

"We have moved our financial PR agency to Brunswick for 2013," confirmed Todd. "After a rigorous process we decided that Brunswick demonstrated a closer alignment to our requirements for 2013."

The new account sees Brunswick continue to expand its energy credentials. The firm already counts a high-profile relationship with BP, which included handling the fallout from its 2010 Deepwater Horizon crisis.

The decision follows the 2011 arrival of BG Group communications director Stuart Bruseth from Shell. Bruseth succeeded Matt Peacock, who had moved to Vodafone.

Over the past two years, meanwhile, BG Group's valuation has fallen by half. The company issued a growth alert in its third quarter results last year, resulting in £6bn being wiped off its value in one day.  

The sell-off marked the biggest one-day share price fall in BG Group's history, and came after the company said it would see no growth in oil and gas production next year, because of a series of problems in its international projects, notably in the North Sea, Brazil, Egypt and the US.

Last year, BG Group named Chris Finlayson as its new CEO, ahead of the retirement later this year of Sir Frank Chapman. Finlayson joined the company from Shell in 2010.

In addition, BG Group also appointed a new chairman in 2012, with former Schlumberger chief Andrew Gould succeeding Sir Robert Wilson.