- CIA Group, Europe's second-largest media network, is understood to be negotiating its first foothold in the US with the possible aquisition of VSM Media.
It is a move that has been expected for some time as CIA has been seen as slow in attempting to launch itself in the US. Rival Carat launched in the US more than two years ago and is now one of the largest players in the US market.
VSM Media is a small independent and analysts have valued the potential deal at about $5 million.
Although CIA's entry into the market would not affect the balance of power in the US it would, give CIA a platform for expansion. The US market is currently dominated by the big three in the shape of Western International Media, The Media Edge, owned by Young & Rubicam, and Carat,
VSM, which was founded ten years ago, is being hotly courted by a number of agencies. It claims billings of around £133 million ($220 million) and its clients include leading US bookseller Barnes & Noble.
A decision is expected within the next few weeks.