M&C Saatchi exits Walker Media stake for GBP36 million
British advertising agency M&C Saatchi has sold a controlling stake in Walker Media to French giant Publicis Group for GBP36 million. In a report, British financial website This is Money said the deal will give Publicis 75.1% of Walker. Walker ran the Marks & Spencer's Christmas TV ad campaign featuring Helena Bonham Carter.
The report said the deal came as the French advertising company seeks competition clearance for its GBP22 billion merger with Omnicom.
This is Money said M&C Saatchi will retain 25% of Walker, with the right to appoint minority directors. Chief executive David Kershaw and finance boss Jaime Hewitt will be the firm's initial boardroom representatives.
M&C Saatchi said it would return the majority of the cash to its shareholders. The remainder will be used to fund investments and for working capital, the report said.
Walker Media will be folded into Publicis' ZenithOptimedia group, This is Money said.
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