Dynamic duo reunited

Coyle and Basham aim to recreate the glory days of PR

Two of the top corporate spin doctors of the 1980s are to rejoin forces next week in a bid to recreate their heady success when multi-billion takeovers were 10 a penny.

Brian Basham, fresh from his victory in the British Airways/Virgin "dirty tricks" libel case last month, is teaming up again with PR consultant John Coyle to launch the new Basham & Coyle Partnership Plc tomorrow.

Mr Basham, dubbed "The Streetfighter" from his days advising the likes of Lord Hanson and BA's Lord King, says the new venture has already gained a warm response from City merchant banks.

"We're going back into the mainstream - new issues and bids and deals. One head of corporate finance has already said he'll use us on his next takeover."

The two built up Broad Street Associates from 1980 into a 1,000-strong firm floated on the stock market in 1988.

It advised Guinness on its bid for Bells whisky, and Argyle's Sir James Gulliver against Ernest Saunders' bid for Distillers, and defended Dunlop and Pilkington from BTR.

Mr Coyle, a former journalist, left shortly after the flotation, however, in a falling-out over strategy. He built up two new outfits, Square Mile and Barbican Communications.

Mr Basham also cashed in his chips after selling out to the French advertising agency BDDP in 1991. His Warwick Corporate now brings on board clients such as Manpower and auctioneer Christies, adding to Mr Coyle's list of growing smaller firms.

Another venture, Equity Developments, will offer research to the market on smaller companies

Mr Basham has also acted for the Meat and Livestock Commission over the BSE scare and conceived the Remembrance Day "two minutes silence" for the Royal British Legion.

The venture starts with more than pounds 1m of fee income already and is being backed by investor Tony Caplin, who will take responsibility for finance.

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