Edelman, a global communications firm with its head quarters in US, announced its intention to acquire Kenya’s Gina Din Corporate Communications through a newspaper advert published in mid December last year. With no opposition to the match-up, the deal has now been completed.
The match-up is ideal for both firms – Edelman had no local partner (or representative) agency to work with when need be while Gina Din PR had seen its fortunes wane over the years, losing both talent and clients to rival outfits, both established as well as upcoming who are keen win accounts (and the resultant revenue) looking to engage new agencies.
(TOP: A cropped version of a photo taken during the opening of Edelman’s Kenya office and announcement of Gina Din PR acquisition).
The acquisition therefore brings with it a new chapter for Gina Din PR, the pioneer PR and communications consultancy started 1997 by its founder and CEO, Gina Din Kariuki after resigning from her Corporate Affairs job at Barclays Bank (now Absa).
For Edelman, on the other hand, it opens up new avenues and a possible gateway to explore opportunities – for both clients and potential partnerships – in other parts of the continent.
During the time leading to the acquisition, Gina Din PR and Edelman had partnered to compile and release Trust Barometers, a report about new trends in the PR and Comms industry. While releasing these periodic reports, Gina Din Kariuki would hold the panels, while Lorna Irungu, the firms MD, would facilitate the panelists most of the time according to people in the know.
And following the acquisition, Edelman has now gone ahead to open a new office in Kenya to serve its local as well as regional clients.
Edelman, which has worked in more than 30 countries across Africa in recent years, said the launch of the Kenya office is meant to provide the firm with a base for a staff of 100 people.
The office will be led by Jordan Rittenberry, the CEO of Edelman Africa who has held various positions at the firm during his 13-year stint. Rittenberry will oversee Edelman’s operations in Kenya and South Africa, where he has been based for the past four years.
Gina Din-Kariuki, the Gina Din PR founder and CEO, is to act as an adviser to Edelman across Africa.
Ed Williams, President and CEO of Edelman EMEA, said: “We have acquired our trusted local market partner in Nairobi to expand our operations and offer to clients – global and domestic. The combination of high-calibre local talent, alongside our global specialists, and operating scale will be a compelling offer. I am very excited by what we can all do together.”
Gina Din-Kariuki said: “Like Edelman, Gina Din Corporate Communications is a family-run business and, as such, is firmly rooted in its values. The relationship we have fostered with Edelman over the course of the past three years is one based on our mutual belief in the power of collaboration to deliver top-quality services that meet our clients’ needs, so taking this relationship to the next level is a natural progression for us.”
Rittenberry said the move enables Edelman’s clients to have a real impact in the region. “Africa has the world’s youngest population, fastest-growing middle class and highest rate of urbanisation, and we believe there is significant opportunity ahead of us. Our entry into Kenya is a natural next step in realising our ambition in Africa and we have our sights set on further growth into West Africa soon,” he added.
It is however still unclear whether the two firms will operate other the two independent brands or re-brand and work under a single identity.