Lord Bell's Chime Communications has bought Hamburg-based PR firm
MMK Markt and Medien-Kommunikation in a deal understood to be worth
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.