Deutsche Chime born as Bell buys MMK for £2.3m

Lord Bell's Chime Communications has bought Hamburg-based PR firm

MMK Markt and Medien-Kommunikation in a deal understood to be worth

£2.28m.



The deal is part of a plan to launch the group's first overseas

independent group, Deutsche Chime.



The corporate and consumer agency will come under the Deutsche Chime

umbrella alongside the group's existing German offerings,

Frankfurt-based City PR consultancy Smithfield Financial and tech agency

Harvard in Munich.



The agencies will continue under the same brand names.



Deutsche Chime, which is expected to have a combined fee income of just

over £3m, will be headed by MMK founder and MD Klaus Stoffers, who

takes on the role of chairman.



Bell said: 'The German economy is not so strong at the moment, but we

will continue with our plans, although at a slower pace than originally

intended. We're building a presence in Germany so we can get a decent

share of the market modelled on what we've done in the UK.'



He added that initial plans to launch in the US have been shelved due to

poor market conditions.



Bell also moved to quash industry speculation that the Harvard and

Insight brands were to merge.



He said while the firms work together on certain clients, merging both

was not an option due to client conflicts.



MMK was founded in 1989 and boasts clients including Absolut Vodka,

Philip Morris, Sony and Allied Domecq.



The Smithfield brand, headquartered in the UK, only recently launched in

Germany and is led by Richard Bassett, former head of Brunswick Germany.



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