Blocking a Bank Merger Halfway Around the World
It’s not just wars, political upheaval and regime change. Transactions conducted in very different cultures can pose a direct threat to business partners and investors throughout the world. One cannot always appeal to regulators in Asia or the Middle East or Africa. They often have their own agendas.
A merger of two Middle East banks would have made it impossible for our client, a financial services company, to recover huge payments owed by one of the institutions involved in the transaction.
At first, direct pressure on regional media was impracticable. A global media strategy known as “hop-scotching” was deployed instead, building country-to-country coverage in key markets until the Gulf-based media had little choice but to cover the merger and focus on its controversial aspects. LEVICK created a potent digital platform, marshaling data on why the merger should not happen. The online message immersion was so effective that an unnamed source provided access to compromising documents hidden on another continent.
The story took on a life of its own, enough so as to force the hand of the local regulators. With no other choice, they prohibited the merger. Once you start an effective campaign, there is no telling what it can lead to.