Media Business takeover talks collapse

Takeover talks between Grey and The Media Business Group which it was hoping to acquire have been terminated after seven months of discussions.

The board of The Media Business Group had hoped negotiations would be concluded this week but according to a statement, “the continuing large falls in equity markets worldwide have had a significant detrimental effect on discussions and the parties have been unable to agree terms.”

Allan Rich, chief executive of The Media Business Group says: “These things are always difficult while they are going on. Now that this is out of the way we can focus our minds on building our business.”

The proposed acquisition by Grey of The Media Business would have taken Grey’s media dependant MediaCom, currently the ninth largest UK media agency, to within the top five.

The Media Business Group announced record results for the year ended 30 April 1998. Turnover was up 28 per cent to 171m while pre-tax profits rose 35 per cent to 2.1m.

The Media Business Group is the last remaining major UK media independent. Recent new business wins include Direct Line Life, Hitachi and TranscCo. It launched the Media Business in Scotland just over a year ago, which has since won business from First Group and Glenmorangie.

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