Leagas Delaney to Leave West Coast

LOS ANGELES Leagas Delaney is selling its San Francisco office to its local management team and is looking to establish a presence in New York, an agency official confirmed.

Wayne Buder, co-president and managing director, and Vince Engel, co-president and creative director, were approached two months ago by Leagas Delaney’s London-based chairman Tim Delaney about the possible sale. The duo plan to acquire the office for an undisclosed sum, Engel said. The agreement has not yet been signed, but Engel felt the two “got a very good deal.”

“It works out better for both of us,” Engel said. “Tim has Europe to concentrate on. We wanted to have as much control over our destiny as possible.”

Delaney could not immediately be reached for comment.

The deal follows the recent departure of two key accounts at Leagas’ San Francisco office: Virgin Mobile and Sega. The 28-person shop will continue to work with Leagas in London on the Doc Martens account, as well as new client Nvidia, which makes visual computing technology. Other San Francisco clients include the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Northstar at Tahoe Ski Resort and Atlas Snow Shoes.

Leagas’ San Francisco office was opened in 1996. The shop had 2002 billings of $55 million.