Bankers force Leagas Shafron into receivership

Leagas Shafron Davis has caved in under the weight of its financial problems and gone into administrative receivership.

Leagas Shafron Davis has caved in under the weight of its financial

problems and gone into administrative receivership.



The agency confirmed the move late on Wednesday morning after

discussions with its bankers failed to result in a financial

restructuring package.



It comes three weeks after the agency fired 14 people - almost half its

staff - in an attempt to stave off the crisis.



At the same time, Publicis confirmed it had hired Keith Courtney, the

Leagas Shaf-ron creative director, and will reunite him with his former

deputy and copywriting partner, Rob Janowski, who was one of those made

redundant.



Neither Zebra Media, the agency’s media joint venture with Zenith, nor

DNA Communications, its new-media subsidiary, are in receivership. It is

thought Zenith may buy out Leagas Shafron’s stake in Zebra.



The 11-year-old Leagas Shafron, ranked 52nd in the UK, had been fighting

for survival since the loss of its Royal & SunAlliance business last

year, compounded by the expense of buying itself out of the Wilkens

European network.



In the past few days, Ron Leagas, its chairman, is understood to have

had talks with other shops about possible deals without success.



The receivership throws into question the future of more than pounds 4

million worth of Central Office of Information business, including

special constable recruitment and the Inland Revenue, for which the

agency created Hector the tax inspector.



The agency’s other major accounts include the pounds 2.8 million Zanussi

business, Sanyo and Heals.



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