TBWA in Talks to Buy Beattie McGuinness Bungay

NEW YORK TBWA is in late-stage discussions to acquire London shop Beattie McGuinness Bungay, sources said.

The agency is run by former TBWA\London creative director and chairman Trevor Beattie. He opened it in May 2005, after leaving TBWA\London with two colleagues: CEO Andrew McGuinness and deputy cd Bill Bungay.

Agency clients include Ikea, Carling, McCain, Virgin, Wall’s and ING Direct.

A deal has not been finalized, according to sources. If consummated, the acquisition would give Omnicom Group’s TBWA the “big creative presence” it has lacked in the London market since Beattie’s exit three years ago, said a source.

About a year after Beattie left, TBWA\London hired Steve Henry, co-founder of Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury and international cd of WPP Group’s United in London, as executive cd. Henry, however, left the agency in July.

A TBWA representative declined comment, and Beattie could not immediately be reached.