MUNICHA—MSLGroup firms CNC and Capital MSL are to merge, in a bid to create a more global corporate and financial PR presence.

The new firm will operate under the CNC brand, two years after the German agency was acquired by Publicis Groupe. It begins operations on 1 January 2015 with 11 offices in 8 countries, adding Capital's London and Middle Eastern operations to CNC's network in Continental Europe and Asia.

However, the merger does not involve MSLGroup's other financial PR firms: Kekst & Company in the US and Scandinavia's JKL.

The move comes on the fifth anniversary of MSLGroup, which was created as a merger of Publicis Groupe's main PR firms, MSL and Publicis Consultants, in a bid to create a global PR network. Last year, the Holmes Report revealed that some Publicis PR agencies, such as CNC, Kekst and JKL, were keen to maintain a separate identity from the MSLGroup brand. 

Richard Campbell, founder and CEO of Capital MSL and Roland Klein, currently managing partner of CNC London, will become joint managing partners of CNC in London, also overseeing the Middle East. Claire Maloney and Nick Bastin, both shareholders and managing directors of Capital MSL, will join Kevin Soady as London-based CNC partners, taking the overall number of partners in the CNC Group to 13.

“When we joined Publicis two years ago, it was our primary goal to offer our clients the same level of service internationally as has been valued in Germany for many years," said CNC CEO Christoph Walther. "Through the merger with Capital MSL we are creating a strong and competitive presence in the strategically important London market and extending our network into the Middle East.

"Increasing collaboration on large cross border mandates with our US partner Kekst and JKL in Scandinavia demonstrates that our strategy to become increasingly international is working, and that we can add significantly more value to our clients today than we could a few years ago."