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Cicero Group has agreed, in an all cash transaction, to acquire 100 per cent of the equity of Westbourne Communications from founder James Bethell.

The group has announced that it "will have a combined fee income of £7m and creates the largest independent public affairs agency in the United Kingdom". Westbourne will trade under its own brand bringing deep sectoral expertise across Transport, Energy, Housing and Technology.

Cicero Executive Director, Tom Frackowiak, will lead the combined public policy offer and Executive Director John Rowland will spearhead Westbourne’s integration into Cicero.

Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman at Cicero Group, said: “We set out ambitious plans for acquisition in the past year and we are delighted to be bringing Westbourne to Cicero. We have long respected Westbourne’s brilliant campaigning philosophy. The deal will strengthen our offer to clients and places Cicero as the UK’s leading independent public affairs agency.”

James Bethell, CEO and Founder of Westbourne, said: “We are big fans of Cicero and the team so I am super-excited that we are joining forces to become the largest independent Public Affairs player. Westbourne and Cicero are a perfect strategic fit and combines our different sector strengths under one roof. This enhances our offering to clients and brings new opportunities to develop and grow the business.”

Tom Frackowiak, Executive Director Public Affairs, at Cicero said: “This is an exciting move for all of us. We will offer a market-leading team with tremendous reach across sectors including Financial Services, Transport, Energy, Housing and Technology. I am looking forward to working with the team to deliver excellent outcomes for our clients and contribute to Cicero’s ambitious growth trajectory.”