Leagas Delaney is planning to launch an international media operation, following its pounds 60 million deal with Envoy Communications earlier this week, and is talking to CIA and New PHD about establishing a joint venture.
It is thought that, following the Envoy deal, which will enable Leagas Delaney to expand internationally, an agreement with CIA is more likely because of its strong international network.
David Wheldon, CIA's chief executive, confirmed the talks and said: 'We are chatting about the way forward. We would be delighted to help Leagas Delaney with its media requirements.'
New PHD, which has an agreement to handle a chunk of Leagas Delaney's TV buying, has also been talking about formalising its relationship with the creative agency. David Pattison, New PHD's chief executive, said: 'We already have a relationship with the agency and it has talked to us in the past about extending this.'
Leagas Delaney's choice of media partner raises questions over the future role of Jerry Fielder, its group media director. Fielder was the chairman of the agency, but that role was handed to Bruce Haines earlier this month.
The media agency talks coincide with the announcement of the sale of Leagas Delaney to Envoy. The deal will be completed by January, with the directors of Leagas Delaney committing to a four-year earn-out. Envoy is paying pounds 25 million in cash and shares plus a further pounds 35 million in cash and shares if profit targets are met.
Companies House data shows that Leagas Delaney is owned by nine directors.
Its chairman, Tim Delaney, owns one third of the company. Other major shareholders include Haines, Fielder and the group finance director Eric McClean.
Leagas Delaney was launched in 1980 and sold to Abbott Mead Vickers in 1986. Agency management bought the company back in 1998 following the acquisition of AMV by BBDO. Leagas Delaney was paying AMV 2.5 per cent of its gross profits per year to cover the pounds 3.9 million it owes. This link has been cut, with Envoy paying AMV the balance.
Live Issue, p28.