Margaret Thatcher's former communications guru, Lord Bell, is seeking to take back control of some of the PR businesses he helped to create.
In a bid to quell mounting City speculation over its future, parent company Chime, confirmed the 70-year-old and his long-standing associate Piers Pottinger, along with other senior executives, were exploring options over the future of firms which may include Bell Pottinger.
In a statement, Chime – of which Lord Bell, pictured, is chairman and Mr Pottinger is deputy chairman – said the board had agreed they could pursue the possibility of the buyout. It read: "No proposal has yet been made and there can be no certainty that a proposal which the board can recommend to shareholders will be forthcoming."
Shares in the company rose 2 per cent on news of the potential buyout. Lord Bell, below, who is advising former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, has recently found himself forced to manage a PR crisis at the heart of his own business empire. Last year The Independent, along with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, secretly recorded discussions with senior Bell Pottinger executives claiming to have access to the highest levels of government including Prime Minister David Cameron.