ST. LOUIS, April 25—A week after Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide created a $10 million powerhouse firm in Australia, rival Fleishman-Hillard became the latest international agency to break into the antipodean market, acquiring a majority share of Stratcom Communiqué Australia, one of the region’s leading independent communications firms.

Stratcom Communiqué, which has offices in Sydney and Melbourne, and an affiliate in Brisbane, has been the F-H affiliate in Australia for more than a year. The two agencies have worked together on a handful of accounts, including Nortel Networks.

The acquisition “will give Fleishman-Hillard a leadership position” in the market, according to chief executive John Graham. “It brings us a seasoned and well-respected team of professionals, as well as a roster of outstanding clients.” F-H, which earlier this month acquired a technology-focused agency in Korea, now has a presence in nine Asian countries.

The firm was founded in 1997 with the merger of Melbourne-based Stratcom Consulting and Sydney’s Communiqué Public Relations. It has a staff of 35 and a broad range of services, including financial and corporate communications, consumer marketing, issues management, and crisis communications. It serves clients across industries including technology and telecommunications, food and agribusiness, and finance.

Its existing management team, including founding partners Tony Rasman, Julianne Dowling, Jonathan Raymond, and Hayden Cock, will remain in place.

According to Rick Sullivan, president of F-H International, “We have had our eye on the Australian market for some time. Along with Hong Kong and Singapore, it’s one of the best developed PR markets in the Asia-Pacific region, and we believe there’s a significant potential for growth there.”