News From Hiltzik, Ruder Finn, Finn Partners & MWWPR

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Hiltzik Media Strategies Representing Thoma Bravo in Barracuda Networks Deal:

Barracuda Networks provides cloud-based networks with security, and the private equity firm Thoma Bravo is acquiring it. Hiltzik Media will be doing the press for that $1.6 billion deal. After averaging share prices over 10 days, the agreed price per share to be paid in the acquisition was $27.55, a 22% increase over that average. The deal was announced on November 27th.

Barracuda Networks has been around since 2003 working with clients in the big leagues such as Boeing and Microsoft. The revenues for the first part of the year was $188 million and net income of $4.2 million. Thoma Bravo invests in tech companies and has assets of $17 billion. At Hiltzik’s, the deal will be handled by Matthew Gorton until it’s close – expected at the end of February 2018.

Tata AIA Chooses Ruder Finn for PR:

Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited (Tata) in India has chosen Ruder Finn to handle their PR and communications after reviewing multiple responses to their RFP. Tata was formed jointly by Tata Sons Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. (AIA). AIA has a strong presence in India and other pan-Asian region markets – 18 of them in total.

Changes at Finn Partners:

After just five months as the deputy managing director and senior partner of Finn Partner’s West Coast office, David Shane will be focusing more of his attention on building his existing consultancy, Shane Strategies. He will continue as a senior advisor for Finn as well. Replacing Shane in Los Angeles will be Howard Solomon.In the past, he worked with companies such as Toys ‘R’ Us’ NY Animal Adventure Park at his consultancy. He also previously worked at Hiltzik Strategies’ LA office and Juniper Networks.

New Corporate Reputation SVP at MWWPR in Jackie Burton:

Jackie Burton just joined the New York office Corporate Reputation division as a senior VP at MWWPR. Burton has worked in communications in the past and brings expertise in corporate practice, reputation, brand building for clients, and issues management. In the new job she will focus on new business, strategic leadership in the agency and with clients, leadership.

Sard Verbinnen Wins (for the Moment at least) Against Icahn:

SandRidge Energy has been represented by Sard Verbinnen in a battle with one of SandRidge’ activist investor Carl Icahn regarding their pending deal for Bonanza Energy. Icahn owns 13.5% of SandRidge and is not a fan of the deal for Bonanza. At Sard Verbinnen, Bryan Locke and Kelly Kimberly are handling the account’s media.

A “poison pill” strategy has been put in place making it unacceptable for any new investor to have more than a 10% stake in the Oklahoma company for the next year. This strategy allows owners of stock to do their due diligence before making any decisions. According to a statement released by SandRidge, the strategy is “designed to deter the acquisition of actual, de facto or negative control of the company by any person or group without appropriately compensating shareholders for such control.”

Barri Rafferty Becomes Global CEO for Ketchum:

The first woman to take charge of a top five PR Firm, Barri Rafferty is replacing Rob Flaherty as Global CEO at Ketchum. She has been serving as global president for the last year and a half. Rafferty was thrilled to be part of this historic win for gender equity in the communications industry, saying “Hopefully this is only the start.” She has been with Ketchum since 1994, moving up through various leadership opportunities at the firm.

Rob Flaherty isn’t going anywhere except up as he will take over the role of chairman on January 1. Karen van Bergen, CEO of Omnicom PR Group, the parent for Ketchum will work with Flaherty on client matters, and Rafferty will also report to van Bergen. Flaherty and Rafferty have been working together for 30 years, beginning as Rafferty started with the firm right out of high school.

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