Omnicom poised for Springer stake

Omnicom is in talks to buy a 20 per cent stake in Springer & Jacoby, Germany’s biggest independent agency, in a move that could see the world’s largest agency group set up a fourth network.

Omnicom is in talks to buy a 20 per cent stake in Springer &

Jacoby, Germany’s biggest independent agency, in a move that could see

the world’s largest agency group set up a fourth network.



Mercedes Benz, Springer’s showpiece client, is likely to be a motivating

force for the deal, which has been under discussion since late last

year, since the German car manufacturer has committed to help Springer

roll out an advertising agency network across Europe.



Mercedes’ US account is already handled by an Omnicom agency, the New

York-based Merkely Newman Harty.



This grouping could work as a separate entity to Omnicom’s successful

agency brands, TBWA, BBDO and DDB. Michael Troutmann, the managing

director of Springer, said: We are trying to set up a European network

over the next two years. Mercedes want us to be in every major capital.

It is one option to work with Omnicom as a minority shareholder ... but

I don’t think there will be an agreement for at least four weeks.



John Wren, the president and chief executive of Omnicom, is holding

talks directly with Springer’s co-founder, Konstantin Jacoby, about

taking a stake. Wren was unavailable for comment as Campaign went to

press.



However, sources close to the possible deal suggested talks may could be

held up by the extent of the German agency’s ambitions on the

international stage. Springer, with its proud heritage of German

creativity, is also believed to be keen to see its name retained in all

markets.



Springer is the more aggressive of Germany’s two remaining large

independents.



While its fellow Hamburg agency, Jung von Matt, has found success at

home, with agencies in Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin, Springer is the

only one to have ventured into overseas markets.



Last year, Springer opened an office in London to handle its

international activities, and it is now understood to be planning

further expansion into Spain and Italy at the behest of Mercedes.



Mercedes’ London account, which is handled by Partners BDDH, is not

thought to be under threat.