Tim Bell's Chime Communications has snapped up Roose & Partners, the UK's third-largest independent agency, as part of efforts to double its share of the UK ad market over the next two years.
Chime will pay up to pounds 13.6 million for the pounds 54 million-billing Roose, best known for its long-running series of TV commercials for Bodyform sanpro products.
The acquisition joins a stable of Chime-owned agencies, including HHCL & Partners, and the group says it will boost its ability to cross refer clients' business.
Roose will trade as a stand-alone agency within the group. Ted Roose, the agency's founder and chairman, will join Chime's operating board, reporting to Chris Satterthwaite, the group managing director.
Rupert Howell, Chime's joint chief executive, said: 'We were looking for an agency that was substantial, well managed, fast growing, with a quality client list and a positioning complementary to our existing major advertising business, HHCL. Of all the candidates, Roose & Partners stood head and shoulders above the rest.'
Roose said he had rejected many takeover overtures in recent years but was 'truly excited' by the prospect of joining Chime.
'We're constantly looking to expand the range of skills we can offer clients,' he said. 'In the past five years we have doubled in size by our own efforts. Together with Chime, we're now in a great position to exceed that.'
Chime will pay an initial consideration of pounds 9.9 million for Roose. This comprises pounds 1.3 million in cash, pounds 6.1 million in loan notes and pounds 2.5 million in shares with a maximum deferred consideration of an incremental pounds 3.7 million.
Roose, ranked as the 24th largest agency in the UK, was founded in 1977 by Roose, who had previously spent several years at Saatchi & Saatchi. Its client list includes Bass, for which it created the 'storm brewing' campaign for Caffrey's, Nestle, Mitsubishi cars, Reckitt Benckiser, Eastern Energy and Virgin.
The agency reported unaudited pre-tax profits before directors' bonuses of pounds 1.1 million in the year to the end of September 2000.