The sale of 49.9% of Clemmow Hornby Inge & Partners to WPP Group last week has helped European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson pocket over £1m.
As part of the deal, his 2% equity in the agency has been bought out and his investment is thought to have fetched him an estimated £1.2m, based on the agency being valued at some £60m.
The former cabinet minister stepped down as a paid director of the advertising agency in 2004 after he accepted his Brussels-based European Commission position, but he has remained in an advisory position since then.
Mandelson was forced to quit as trade secretary over a home loan in 1998, which he failed to declare on a mortgage application form. In 2001 he resigned as Northern Ireland Secretary over an attempt by the Hinduja brothers to acquire UK passports. He was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.
A friend of the CHI founder Johnny Hornby, said Mandelson joined the CHI board when the agency launched in 2001.
The agency announced its partnership with WPP last week (MW April 19), and is thought to have extracted nearly £30m upfront from WPP as part of the deal.
The agency has also relaunched itself and integrated CHI Advertising, Hall Moore CHI and Naked Inside. The revamped agency will be run by a group of partners representing all the key specialisms within the agency. New partners include Sarah Gold, Neil Goodlad, Ewan Paterson, Nick Howarth and Peter Walker.