LONDON — Cicero Group has acquired 100% of the equity of Westbourne Communications from founder James Bethell, creating one of the UK's largest independent public affairs agencies.

The group will have a combined fee income of £7 million. Westbourne, which will continue to trade under its own brand, brings expertise in the transport, energy, housing and technology sectors to Cicero's offer.

Cicero executive director Tom Frackowiak will lead the combined public policy offer and executive director John Rowland will spearhead Westbourne’s integration into Cicero.

Iain Anderson, executive chairman at Cicero Group, said: “We set out ambitious plans for acquisition in the past year and we are delighted to be bringing Westbourne to Cicero. We have long respected Westbourne’s brilliant campaigning philosophy. The deal will strengthen our offer to clients and places Cicero as the UK’s leading independent public affairs agency.”

James Bethell, CEO and founder of Westbourne, said: “We are big fans of Cicero and the team so I am super-excited that we are joining forces. Westbourne and Cicero are a perfect strategic fit and combine our different sector strengths under one roof. This enhances our offering to clients and brings new opportunities to develop and grow the business.”