Independent integrated communications agency, Four Communications has made its second acquisition since BGF invested in the company in August 2015. It has bough the Welsh market leading PR and design agency, Francis Balsom Associates Ltd (known as FBA). Four acquired 100 per cent of the equity. The two companies already work together in a consortium called Four Cymru and this will be the trading name going forward for all work in Wales.
In September 2015, Four acquired financial & professional services agency Broadgate Mainland and earlier in the year it acquired healthcare media planning & buying agency MSA Media. Previous acquisitions have included Consolidated PR, Colman Getty, bgb and Kinross+Render which are all now successfully integrated into the group. The company continues to explore further acquisitions.
Founded in 1989, FBA will now join Four Communications’ existing public relations, public affairs, digital & design, sponsorship and media planning & buying practices. Currently FBA/Four Cymru’s annual fee income is in excess of £1 million. The agency which has a staff of 16 will continue to be led by managing director Meilyr Ceredig and he will join the practice board of the group. Founder and chair Sue Balsom will continue to be a consultant to the agency. Four has a total fee income of some £20 million and more than 250 staff.
FBA boasts an enviable client list including Welsh Government contracts for food promotion, tourism, education, health and social behaviour programmes. Other clients include Higher Education Wales, Ceredigion Council, Food Innovation Wales, Lantra, Christian Aid, Rachel’s Organic, Visit Wales and Fork2Fork. The company also created and manages the annual Welsh Politician of the Year awards with ITV Wales and provides pro bono support to the Cambrian Mountains Farmers Initiative whose patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.
The acquisition of FBA strengthens Four’s UK offering to include both devolved nations of Wales and Scotland where legislation, policies and systems are increasingly divergent. As such FBA’s team brings an in-depth understanding of Wales that will add value to Four’s other specialist teams in property, financial services, public sector, sports, travel & transport. Two of Four’s founders Nan and Einir Williams are Welsh and hail from Llanidloes in Mid Wales.