Bell Pottinger’s Asian unit to separate from UK parent

08 Sep 2017


Bell Pottinger's Asian unit said it intended to separate from its UK parent, as reports emerged that the public relations firm is on the verge of collapse. According to the firm, Bel Pottinger's UK business was expected to go into administration as early as next week.

The firm said the Asian business will begin trading under a new name "in the coming days".

The PR firm, which was accused of stirring up racial hatred in South Africa, was expelled from the industry.

The Asian business of the company is looking to distance itself from the scandal.

"The Asia business is entirely ringfenced and solvent," Asia chief executive Ang Shih Huei said in a statement sent to clients on Friday. which the BBC claimed to have seen. "Our teams are intact, we continue to serve our clients and it is entirely business as usual."

Bell Pottinger Asia added that it planned to re-launch with a new ownership structure and operate under the name Klareco Communications.

The UK staff was informed in an announcement late yesterday that the firm could go into administration next week according to the Financial Times and other media outlets.

Lord Bell, the company's founder, resigned last year, and has admitted to the BBC that it is probably "near the end".

Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that the PR agency has asked accountancy firm BDO to find a buyer in a bid to avert closure, but according to one source close to the process, time was running out.

''They have days to close a deal, not weeks,'' a source close to the sales process told the Guardian. ''This is very much the same as a business going into receivership: they will be lucky to have until the end of next week – or face administration.''

''Bell Pottinger is in discussions with BDO about a restructuring of the business,'' said a spokesman for the agency.

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