Ingram snaps up Unity to forge new agency

Media entrepreneur Chris Ingram has bought media planning agency Unity to become part of a new branding and communications consultancy called The Ingram Partnership.

WWP Group-owned J Walter Thompson was in negotiations to acquire Unity until last month but talks collapsed (MW June 26).

Ingram is investing £10m in the new venture, part of which he has used to acquire Unity and brand consultancy The Gathering.

The Ingram Partnership plans to compete with branding specialists and traditional management consultants by bridging the gap between the two disciplines. It is planning to recruit a team of business strategists to complement the acquisition of the two agencies.

Ingram is understood to be looking for further acquisitions to broaden the agency’s range of services. The two acquisitions will provide The Ingram Partnership with a client base that includes Cadbury Schweppes, the Carphone Warehouse and Guardian Media Group.

Unity managing partner Andrew Tilley and The Gathering chairman Duncan Bruce will become partners in the consultancy.

Ingram sold his communications group Tempus to WPP for £432m in 2001. He stayed with the group until the integration was complete, including the merger of WPP’s The Media Edge with media network CIA, but then left last summer.

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