Bankers Spare UK’s Chime From Asset Auction

17 December 2002

Bankers will not demand an asset sale by London-headquartered agency group Chime Communications as the company struggles to recover from a disastrous few weeks.

Last month, Chime chairman Lord Tim Bell – quondam favourite of Baroness Thatcher – revealed that the group’s full-year results would be lower than expected and that it had breached a loan agreement, sending its shares nose-diving by 74% [WAMN: 15-Nov-02].

Its bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, consequently hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to review Chime in order to assess whether disposals were necessary. The beancounter is said to have decided that Chime can recover without offloading assets.

One unit that is already up for grabs, however, is ad agency HHCL & Partners, which is expected to be bought by WPP Group. In exchange, WPP will probably raise its stake in Chime from the current 20%.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff