LONDON—With strong financial public relations capabilities already in place in London and New York, communications holding company Cordiant moved to expand its global capabilities this week, spending an initial $10 million to acquire 92.6 percent of International Business Information, one of the leading business communications consultancies in Japan.
Based in Tokyo with over 100 employees, IBI works with both domestic and international clients to plan and implement investor relations, public relations, and corporate communications programs. Established in 1972, IBI has over 100 public company clients. It will not become part of Cordiant’s Business Communications International, which also includes U.K. financial communications powerhouse Financial Dynamics and New York IR firm Morgen-Walke Associates.
According to Nick Miles, CEO of BCI, “Japanese stocks held by foreigners have dramatically risen to about 20 percent of market capitalization, spurring interest in investor relations, corporate governance, and reputation management among Japanese companies. Foreign direct investment in Japan surged by 30 percent last fiscal year and Japan is the largest overseas creditor. 
“Multinational clients will be very excited at the global access, world-class professional resources, and perspective IBI provides, in this vitally important global market.”
The acquisition of IBI gives BCI a significant presence in each of the key international financial centres of New York, London, and Tokyo, and expands BCI’s operations to 12 offices. Other members of the network include Gallagher & Kelly, and recently acquired electronic communications specialist Bulletin International.
IBI’s U.S.-born principals, Thomas Zengage and C. Tait Ratcliffe, will continue in their current roles.
The initial consideration of 1.3 billion yen (£7.5 million pounds sterling) will be satisfied by the issue of new Cordiant shares. Approximately 33 percent of the shares issued are restricted from sale for a period of one year from completion. The maximum total consideration for 92.6 percent of IBI’s equity is 4.9 billion yen (£28.0 million pounds), payable in new Cordiant shares depending on IBI’s financial performance to December 2005.