LONDON — International communications group Huntsworth has acquired independent UK PR agency Cirkle for an undisclosed sum.

Cirkle, whose consumer, corporate and B2B clients include Heineken, Birds Eye, Britvic, AkzoNobel, Goodfellas, Honda, Pepsico, Dreams, Dyson and GSK, will retain its name and operate under the Huntsworth Communications umbrella, joining sister agencies Grayling, Red Consultancy and Citigate Dewe Rogerson.

The Cirkle senior leadership team including CEO Ruth Kieran (pictured, left) and all staff remain in the 65-strong company, which became employee-owned in 2018. chairman Caroline, who founded the business in 1998, will exit the business on completion of the deal.

Huntsworth CEO Neil Jones (pictured, right) said the acquisition “brings an enhanced set of capabilities”, particularly in retail, FMCG and food and drink expertise, to Huntsworth: “We have ambitious plans for our communications division and the acquisition of Cirkle is the first step in this. Combining Cirkle’s award-winning skills and entrepreneurial spirit with Grayling’s growing global footprint and expertise, Red Consultancy’s brand prowess and Citigate Dewe Rogerson’s financial skill will strengthen our offer to clients in all regions, as well as opening new doors for our talent across the whole group. I am extremely excited at what we can all achieve collectively.”

Kinsey (pictured, centre) said: “I could not be prouder of how Cirkle has evolved over its 24-year journey. It has been a privilege to lead such a well-respected business with a stellar portfolio of clients.  Cirkle has always been an agency renowned for its team-centric approach, strong work ethic and commitment to best practice. The team at Huntsworth mirror our values, making them the right partner to fully realise Cirkle’s growth potential, whilst protecting its strong culture and identity.

“It is the right time for me to step back from the business knowing it is in the best shape and in the best hands. I am indebted to my team for their dedication and drive and delighted that they have been rewarded, as owners of the business. I wish them every success for the future and have complete confidence that Cirkle will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Kieran, who became CEO in 2020, will join the Huntsworth board. She said: “We have had phenomenal success over the last four years, and we knew we needed a partner to help us achieve our growth ambitions for the Cirkle brand. The Huntsworth team understood this, but also demonstrated a compatible culture and business ethos which complements our own determination to build a purpose-focussed business with its people at its core. I am so proud of what we’ve achieved together and excited about the future.”