True North plans to fold MBS acquisition into FCB

True North Communications has acquired Genus Media, the parent company of MBS Media and Expert Media, with a view to combining its media buying capabilities with those already in house at Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB.

The acquisition is the first of a series expected to take place over the next few months. MBS is one of the largest privately held media specialists in the UK, with billings of about &£82m.

John Banks, chairman and chief executive of FCB Group, says: “The deal is part of a European programme and the first of a series of acquisitions to take place over the next four to five months.

“We are looking at France, Germany and Italy,” he adds.

Once the deals are completed, True North will assess how the media buying business and various brands will operate across Europe.

Glenn Burton, chairman of Genus Media, and Jeff Taylor, the company’s managing director, will remain in their current positions for the time being. Banks adds that FCB’s media planning for existing clients will remain within the agency.

Burton, who is to report initially to TN Media in the US, says: “We have been approached many times before – True North shared our company values, which was very important.”

True North is expected to hold talks about the future of its 49 per cent stake in BJK&E with co-owner Tempus.

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