INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Freud's MBO from Omnicom creates UK's largestindependent PR agency

LONDON: The directors of Freud Communications have completed a

management buyout of the firm, creating the UK's largest independent PR


The deal is said to be worth pounds 10 million (dollars 14.5 million),

and would match the sum laid out by ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

(AMV) when it bought Freud from its founder, Matthew Freud, in 1994.

Freud CEO Nick Wiszowaty led the buyout along with newly appointed MD

Kris Thykier, as well as directors Gaby Zein, Oliver Wheeler, Patrick

Keegan, Rebecca Hirst, Clare Chilcott, Paul Melody, Andrew Nightingale,

and Kate Lee.

Freud will take a 51% controlling share in the business, while the other

11 directors will receive undisclosed stakes in the firm.

The agency achieved fee income of almost pounds 7.5 million (dollars

10.62 million) last year, a rise of 12% over 1999's figures. A

spokesperson for AMV declined to comment on reasons for the sale.

Since its original purchase of Freud seven years ago, AMV was bought out

by Omnicom.

Given Freud Communications' notoriously independent-minded approach, it

has been rumored that the directors' efforts to negotiate an MBO were

motivated by added bureaucracy from the new owners.

Sources at both Freud and AMV described the parting as "very amicable."

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