Bell Pottinger Founders Buying Firm from Chime

Bell Pottinger founders Lord Bell and Piers Pottinger (also the names of my neighbor’s cats!) and other firm execs plan to pay £19.6 million in cash and company shares to purchase the namesake firm from Chime Communications. Shareholders will have their say on June 18. Talk about a buyout started a few months ago.

Shares of Chime stock increased nearly 10 percent with the news, though Sir Martin Sorrell, the WPP CEO whose company is the largest shareholder in Chime, is opposed.

Chime plans to refocus on sports marketing and its advertising business VCCP. Forty-five percent of the company’s business comes from the former, 35 percent from the latter. The rest is healthcare and PR.

“We’re going to run a private company and our private lives will become private again. I’m relishing that opportunity and I’m sure my colleagues are as well,” Lord Bell told PRWeek UK.

The new Bell Pottinger will be called BPP Communications. The firm got in a whole mess of trouble when senior members of the staff were caught on video talking about their “dark arts” and shenanigans.

[via FT, h/t O’Dwyer’s. Image: Lord Bell]