Cello continues on agency acquisition trail

CCHM:Ping, the specialist financial services agency, has sold a majority stake to Cello Group for almost £1m. The deal is the latest in a series of agency acquisitions and could eventually net the founders £5.3m.

Cello has bought a 76% stake in Hill Murray Group, the holding company of CCHM:Ping, for £950,000. Cello, whose agency portfolio includes Farm Communications, has the option to buy the remaining 24% between 2008 and 2011 for a maximum total of £5.3m in cash, loan notes and shares.

As part of the deal, Cello has also bought a 60% stake in financial services consultancy The Consultancy Practice. Cello chairman Kevin Steeds (pictured) says: “CCHM:Ping will complement our existing business and give us considerably more depth in the financial services sector.”

This week, Dare sold a 65.4% share of the agency to Cossette Communications for an upfront payment of £10m. Meanwhile, M&C Saatchi paid £18.4m for brand consultancy Clear Ideas.

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