Success for Lord Bell's MBO after shareholder backing

Lord Bell will create a new top-three UK PR consultancy after Chime Communications shareholders backed his MBO plans.

New business: Lord Bell
New business: Lord Bell

Chime shareholders approved the sale of Bell Pottinger and related agencies to a new holding company, Bell Pottinger Private (BPP Communications), at the company’s general meeting on Monday.

A total of 63 per cent of eligible proxy votes backed the transaction. Chime’s largest shareholder WPP voted against the resolution.

The new business, which will be majority owned by 18 senior agency figures, will begin trading on 1 July.

Pelham Bell Pottinger founder James Henderson will be CEO of the firm, which boasts more than 200 staff and a fee income of around £33m – placing it third in PRWeek’s Top 150 league table.

Bell will be chairman of BPP Communications. He said: ‘We have built the most successful PR company in Britain and will go on doing that – if something is not broken, you don’t fix it.’

He said he will be involved in the day-to-day running of the company: ‘I’m not in the business of passing the buck.’

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