Belfast lobbying firm MCE buys up struggling rival outfit
MCE is based in Belfast city centre, five miles away from Stormont.
Belfast-based public affairs and PR agency MCE has completed the acquisition of fellow Northern Ireland firm Stakeholder Communications.
Stakeholder, founded by former Social Democratic and Labour Party vice chairman Tom Kelly, has been wound-up over an unpaid tax bill of more than £200,000. Kelly also chaired the anti-Brexit "Northern Ireland Stronger In Europe" campaign during the EU referendum debate.
As a result of the sale, six staff move over to join 18-strong MCE with Kelly retained as a consultant. “There are already good synergies between the two companies, which will improve with Stakeholder now fully integrated into the MCE,” said Kelly.
MCE calls itself “one of Northern Ireland’s most experienced political and public affairs agencies” and boasts a “proven track record in delivering a number of political and public campaigns and assisting clients in delivering an actionable strategy to build relationships and influence government policy”.
MCE managing director Paul McErlean said: "We had been in discussion with Stakeholder for some time and are now very glad to get this deal agreed, retain all of the staff and move the clients across seamlessly to MCE. The deep experience and networks of Tom and his team have been built up over many years and we are really looking forward to deploying that expertise on behalf of our clients."
Picture by: Artur Widak/SIPA USA/PA Images.