Having worked with Cobham since 2017 to help a new management team communicate a significant turnaround, we advised the Board in the run up to and during a recommended bid by Advent International.

Cobham is a major supplier to the UK’s armed forces and an important part of Britain’s advanced manufacturing industrial base. With a number of high profile stakeholders, including the Cobham founding family, publicly advocating against the deal and undermining the bid, our campaign helped secure support for the takeover.

The
Rules of
Influence

in Action

Rule 2

Passions and influencers spread ideas

The sale of Cobham was a highly emotive topic and we were faced with influential stakeholders spreading negative sentiment and misrepresenting the bid, which we had to counter with an inspiring growth story.

Rule 3

Arguments are never won, outcomes are

Our job was to maintain a clear and consistent defence of allegations against the Board, without being distracted from proactively engaging key decision makers – the Secretary of State for BEIS, and institutional shareholders in Cobham, to build trust.

Work

  • We created a narrative and messaging framework for the bid, explaining the Board’s recommendation to every stakeholder group on a segmented basis
  • Our intense rebuttals operation over six months prevented a number of false negative stories being published, and mitigating the impact of a number of pieces, ensuring they did not misrepresent the bid
  • We managed Cobham’s communications effort across all stakeholders, including media, Government investors, employees
    and customers

Impact

  • The Advent bid was approved by shareholders – and by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who rejected the “national security” argument proposed by stakeholders
  • We secured extensive positive coverage in every national UK media outlet – including 30+ media interviews and briefings with key opinion formers
  • We provided rebuttals to 200 attempted attack stories – ensuring that the arguments against the bid did not successfully gain traction with key decision makers