Omnicom buys Claydon Heeley in 10m-plus deal

Omnicom has bought the sales promotion company Claydon Heeley in a deal worth an estimated 10m.

The deal, struck by Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services division, brings to an end 12 months in which the sales promotion agency has been linked to several suitors, including M&C Saatchi and Publicis.

Its client list includes Ford, British Airways, Pepsi and Unilever. The DAS unit, a collection of 21 marketing services companies including Interbrand, WWAV Rapp Collins and Countrywide Communications, is now understood to be the most profitable of all the group’s divisions.

“This was an important area for us – we have been weak in promotional marketing in the UK,” says DAS president of international operations Michael Birkin. “We have been looking at what we had to do for some time – this deal fills a major piece of the jigsaw.

“There are not many quality businesses in this area that are still independent, so I think Claydon Heeley will have been talking to lots of people in the past 12 months. It was attracted by Omnicom’s reputation for allowing entrepreneurs to develop their business.”

Founding partners Jon Claydon and Mark Heeley will continue as joint chief executives.

Edward Mason and Leo Campbell remain managing director and business development director respectively.

Claydon Heeley established close links with M&C Saatchi last year, pitching alongside it for the New Millennium Experience Company’s account.

M&C Saatchi partner Bill Muirhead is a non-executive director of Claydon Heeley.

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