CHBi sells up to US new media company

- The UK new media agency, CHBi, has been 100 per cent acquired by Razorfish, a US digital communications company which is part-owned by Omnicom. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

- The UK new media agency, CHBi, has been 100 per cent acquired by Razorfish, a US digital communications company which is part-owned by Omnicom. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

From 1 June, CHBi will be known as CHBi Razorfish. It will continue to be run by its existing senior management team, comprising Mike Beeston, managing director, and Mark Curtis, strategic solutions director.

New York based Razorfish, which is minority owned by Omnicom's Communicade division, has been in talks with CHBi since last summer.

Razorfish is one of the US's leading new-media companies, employing more than 140 staff on a turnover of $20 million. CHBi employs 28 staff on a turnover of £2 million.

Beeston commented: "We believe the UK market place is going through a period of fast expansion and to capitalise on that you have to have resources. It's not just about money, but also skills and understanding of new media on a global basis."

He added: "That is not to say CHBi hasn't been profitable since it started. It has been. We are starting with a strong background and we want to accelerate forward. We can best do that if we have access to cash and a wider range of skills."

Both companies were founded in 1995. CHBi counts the RAC, Virgin, Allied Domecq, Direct Line, Beefeater Gin and Carlsberg-Tetley among its clients.

Razorfish works with Disney, Time Warner, AT&T, IBM, Revlon and Pepsi Cola among others.

CHBi is one of a number of UK new media companies to fall into American ownership. Late last year, Online Magic was acquired by another Omnicom owned company, Agency.com. In April, the US digital communications company iXL acquired UK new media shops Denovo, Green Cathedral and Condition Green.



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