ProServ lines up 7m deal to buy UK sports marketing agency CSS

The oldest sports marketing consultancy in the UK, CSS, is up for sale for 7m,and the most likely buyer is US sports marketing agency ProServ.

The two companies have been in discussions for a month and have been haggling over price.

The UK sports marketing industry which, according to sports tracking group RSL, was worth 322m last year, has been through considerable consolidation since the Interpublic Group bought Advantage and 60 per cent of Alan Pascoe International last year.

CSS, which was founded in 1973 and is part of the Delaney Fletcher Bozell Group, has been looking for a buyer ever since the IPG deal. An insider describes the company as being “in the shop window”.

CSS chairman and founder Barry Gill is thought to be relaxed about selling the company as long as he remains its head.

Gill says: “We are listening carefully to all the approaches we get because we want to expand.”

Managing director of the Pro-Serv UK TV division Peter Lewington denies any knowledge of a deal but adds: “The company does want to expand in Europe.” Observers expect a deal to be signed within three weeks.

CSS represents the business interests of many members of the England football team, as well as having an interest in motorsport.


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