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United Business Media acquires Cyperus

The French corporate communications company will be merged with PR Newswire.

United Business Media has acquired Cyperus, a French corporate communications services company for the technology sector, for an initial E11.5m. The sale price may rise to a maximum of E23.3m after 3 years. Apax Partners & Co had a 27.7 per cent holding in the company.

Cyperus provides investor relations and communications services including web-casts, presentations and a news-delivery service. The French group will be merged with PR Newswire. Clive Hollick, United’s CEO, said: “Cyperus is a fast-growing communications services company in the strategically important French and Spanish markets. As part of PR Newswire’s expanding global network, Cyperus will be able to increase its range of services and offer its customers access to all major markets.”

Cyperus was established in 1995 to distribute corporate press releases and to give live coverage of high-tech events. It sends news releases to 700 journalists and its clients include France Telecom, Lucent, Alcatel and IBM.

Jean-Louis Amblard,the CEO of Cyperus, said: “PR Newswire already delivers around 1000 news releases each day on behalf of 40,000 companies worldwide. We will bring European clients our expertise in reaching audiences in France and Spain using multimedia, especially in streaming media for trade shows.” Amblard remains chief executive of Cyperus under the management of Vicky Unwin, managing director of PR Newswire Europe.

United Business Media, previously United News and Media, announced its new corporate identity at the same time as its results for 2000 in February this year. Late last year the group sold its Express Newspaper titles to Richard Desmond, proprietor of OK! magazine and owner of Northern & Shell, in a £125m deal. ”