Two-month delay stalls Envoy's bid for Leagas Delaney

Rumours swept the Toronto ad community last week that Envoy Communications Group's bid to purchase Leagas Delaney for CDNdollars 132 million was in jeopardy.

Rumours swept the Toronto ad community last week that Envoy Communications Group's bid to purchase Leagas Delaney for CDNdollars 132 million was in jeopardy.

But Geoff Genovese, Envoy's chief executive, said the deal is proceeding, although the two sides have agreed to delay the closing by two months.

The proposed acquisition had been set to be completed by the end of next month, but the new date is 31 March.

'We had a very aggressive timetable, so having the extra time makes it much more manageable,' Genovese said.

He added that the mutually agreed delay gives Leagas Delaney, founded by Tim Delaney 20 years ago, the time it needs to obtain government assurances regarding the deal's tax implications.

The extra two months also give both parties more time to prepare the roadshow they will need to take to the investment community before the closing date in order to raise financing for the acquisition.

'It is a very complicated deal,' Leagas Delaney's group chairman, Bruce Haines, said. 'We have operations in four European countries and the US.'

Under the terms of the deal, which was unveiled on 6 November, either side can walk away from the agreement until it has been formally signed.

Leagas Delaney lost the Fanta account in late November and was dumped from the BBC roster two weeks ago. However, Genovese said his interest in acquiring the shop remains as strong as ever.

Leagas Delaney will open a Toronto office and take over the operation of Envoy's Toronto agency, Communique, as part of the acquisition.



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