CME.KHBB management buyout stalls

CME.KHBB’s planned management buyout from Cordiant has fallen through. The proposed deal followed the then Saatchi & Saatchi’s decision to close CME.

CME.KHBB’s planned management buyout from Cordiant has fallen through.

The proposed deal followed the then Saatchi & Saatchi’s decision to close CME.KHBB’s European offices and sell off the agency in the US, leaving the London office isolated (MW March 17).

“The deal is technically alive,” says one source, “but there is a 100 per cent feeling that it is a matter of appearance rather than reality.

“The reality is that the management was trying to do a deal but that it is now not going to happen.”

It is understood that the senior managers at the agency involved in the buyout proposal could not agree on the best way forward.

But agency chairman Hamish Pringle, one of those most closely involved, denies that the deal is off.

“We have not reached a decision yet and I have no further comment,” he says.

Cordiant chairman and chief executive Charlie Scott told shareholders last week that the group would retain its existing portfolio of companies.

But CME.KHBB and its client list which includes Carlsberg Tetley, the GM Card from Vauxhall and Uniroyal will now become a trade sale prospect for other agencies.

Heinz will return to TV in July with a series of 30 ten-second ads through Bates Dorland, which will top and tail commercial breaks. The ads feature about 12 Heinz products. They include one of an asphalter laying out his beans as he would tarmac on a road. The campaign runs counter to Heinz’s claim last year that it would drop product-based TV ads in favour of an umbrella branding campaign (MW June 16).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here