SI Partners advises Cicero on sale to Havas




Sell Side


March 2020


Cicero group becomes part of the AMO global strategic advisory network, advised by SI Partners.

Havas Group announced today the acquisition of Cicero Group. Cicero will integrate into AMO, Havas Group’s global strategic advisory network, and will rebrand as Cicero/AMO.

Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman, Cicero/AMO, speaking on the deal said: The need for expert, political, research-led and corporate communications counsel has never been greater. Specialist market and regulatory understanding has become a “must-have” for businesses looking to navigate today’s political and media landscape. This deal ensures we will stay ahead of the curve. We will combine our world-class services to create the leading strategic communications offer and access the specialisms, expertise and creativity of both the AMO and the Havas networks. I want to thank our talented team and I am certain our clients will feel the benefit.

Cicero/AMO is a full-service communications and market research agency, specialising in corporate PR, public affairs, market research and digital communications. It designs and delivers award-winning corporate, brand, political and regulatory campaigns across all major business sectors from offices in London, Brussels and Dublin.

As part of this move, Cicero/AMO will work closely alongside Maitland/AMO, one of AMO’s founder members, to provide comprehensive strategic advice covering public affairs, corporate communications, research and campaigns, investor relations and media relations in the UK and EU.

Yannick Bolloré, Chairman & CEO Havas Group commented: “Cicero’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive for excellence make them a natural fit within the Havas Group. The addition of Cicero to our AMO network reinforces our ability to develop best-in-class strategic advice to our clients in the UK and beyond. A warm welcome to the team!”

AMO Chairman Angus Maitland said: “We are delighted to welcome Cicero into AMO’s growing global network and we all look forward to working with their team. This is part of a broad strategic move to develop AMO capability in public affairs and policy, as governments around the world are becoming more interventionist in corporate affairs, particularly around M&A and governance. This was evidenced last year when Abernathy Macgregor, our US partner, opened its government affairs office in Washington, and Cicero’s presence in London, Brussels and Dublin will complement our already strong public affairs presence in France and Germany, delivered by Havas Paris/AMO and Deekeling Arndt/AMO respectively.”

Neil Bennett, Chief Executive of Maitland/AMO, added: “I am really pleased that Cicero has chosen to join AMO and work closely alongside Maitland/AMO to deliver a truly comprehensive strategic communications service across all key disciplines – at a time when the many aspects of communications and reputation management are more connected than ever. Clients have been telling us for some time that this is what they are looking for, and we are hitting the ground running in 2020 with a strategic vision, an approach and most of all a superb team that answers their needs.”

Jeremy Swan, CEO, Cicero/AMO, said: “This is a key milestone in the Cicero story. We are now part of one of the world’s largest communications groups and a network of specialist strategic advisors further strengthening our international offering. The acquisition brings many benefits. We will be able to do even more for our clients, attract additional market-leading talent to complement our existing expertise and compete for mandates on a global stage. I want to thank our amazing people and clients. It’s been quite a ride over the last twenty years and with AMO as our new partner, think what we can do in the next twenty.”

AMO is present in 11 countries, with consultancies based in London, Paris, New York, Washington, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Berlin, Stockholm, Zurich, Montreal, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Milan. In 2019 the AMO Network advised on 237 M&A deals with a value of $354 billion.

"Fantastic news to see Havas acquire the UK’s #1 public affairs consultancy, Cicero. The deal provides the AMO network a world class leader for what is one of the fastest growing sectors in communications. Delighted to have supported Iain Anderson, Jeremy Swan, Mark Twigg and the team over the last 4 years, and through the sale process. Well deserved team!"

Joe Hine, Partner, SI Partners

SI Partners previously advised Cicero on their acquisition of Westbourne Communications.

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Fantastic news to see Havas acquire the UK’s #1 public affairs consultancy, Cicero. The deal provides the AMO network a world class leader for what is one of the fastest growing sectors in communications.

Joe Hine, Partner, SI Partners