Omnicom set to take full ownership of London agency Portland

Omnicom is to take full ownership of the London agency Portland, buying the remaining minority stake that it does not already own.

Tim Allan: Overseeing strong growth at Portland
Tim Allan: Overseeing strong growth at Portland

Currently around 19 per cent of Portland is owned by its senior management team, including founder Tim Allan, a former senior adviser to Tony Blair and director of comms at BSkyB – his stake is thought to be around 11 per cent.

New York-headquartered Omnicom acquired its stake in Portland in 2012.

Portland’s most recent accounts reveal that Omnicom has exercised its right to buy the remaining 19 per cent, with the price dependent on profits achieved between 2017 and 2019.

The transaction is thought to be unlikely to have a major impact on Portland’s day-to-day operations. Unlike its PR stablemates Ketchum, FleishmanHillard Fishburn and Porter Novelli, Portland’s London office is not located in Omnicom’s London HQ at Bankside.

It also has offices in Qatar, Kenya, New York and Washington DC.

Portland declined to comment.

The agency, which last night held a celebration to mark 15 years since its formation, has experienced strong growth in recent years, almost doubling revenue between 2013 and 2015 to reach around £22.3m. 

Recent account wins for Portland have included The Crown Estate.

Click here to read PRWeek’s in-depth interview with Allan from last year, in which he discusses the agency’s sharp growth and the concept of "contested communications".

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