Carat in talks to buy media shop

Scottish media agency Feather Brooksbank, which holds the Bank of Scotland account, is in talks with the Aegis Group’s Carat.

The move could pave the way for an alliance or merger between the two agencies, giving Brooksbank valuable international opportunities at a time when one of its top accounts – Bank of Scotland – is making a &£22bn bid for NatWest.

It would also give Carat a foothold in Scotland, and potentially access to what could be the UK’s largest banking operation.

Sources close to the talks say a deal is on the table. Brooksbank director Stuart Feather denies this: “We’ve spoken to Carat before, and have been in talks with several people. We have spoken to it about sharing resources in certain areas, such as buying international media, and we have had discussions. But there is nothing anywhere remotely looking like a deal.”

Ray Kelly, chairman of Carat UK, says: “We are not in negotiations or discussions with Brooksbank.”

Carat handles Lloyds TSB – to date, the UK’s largest banking operation. However, the Lloyds account could potentially be run out of London, and the Bank of Scotland business out of Brooksbank in Edinburgh, to ease any conflict of interest.

Alternatively, a loose alliance between the two, rather than a full-blown merger, is possible.

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