Havas to dispose of baby DM agency to raise £20m

LONDON - Havas is expecting to raise around £20m, after appointing LongAcre Partners to auction off newborn and baby products direct agency Bounty, with several companies interested.

Bounty is part of Havas's Euro RSCG Worldwide network but is not core to Havas' business, according to Chris Pinnington, chairman of Euro RSCG London.

A direct marketing agency, it provides free sampling packs of baby products to new mothers and has built up a database of about 8m contacts.

Bounty also offers research services, list rental and advertising in its information guides and publications.

Pinnington said: "We had a number of individual companies expressing interest. Bounty is one of those companies that is unique. It made sense to explore the level of interest."

Private equity firms Kleinwort Capital and ECI Ventures, as well as Lloyds TSB's venture capital division LDC are understood to be among the bidders, and Pinnington claimed there were others.

Havas had no plans to sell other agencies in the network, he added.

In July this year, Havas sold its stake in direct marketing agency Partners Andrews Aldridge back to the founding partners, after focusing its direct business on EHS Brann after a major restructure last autumn.

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