Havas Buys UK Media Shop BLM

15 January 2008

LONDON: Havas, the French advertising conglomerate controlled by financier Vincent Bolloré, has effectively doubled the size of its UK media operations with the acquisition for an unstated sum of privately-held London media shop BLM Holdings.

Founded in 1990, BLM was wholly owned by its four executive directors: ceo Steve Booth, chairman Nick Lockett, chief strategic officer Charlie Makin and chief operating officer Paul Van Barthold.

With current annual billings of £120 million ($235.1m; €158.99m), BLM employs 116 staff. Among its key clients are Domino's Pizza, supermarket chain J Sainsbury, Nikon, Reebok, Suzuki and Thomas Cook.

The acquisition effectively doubles the size of Havas' UK operation, lifting its total UK billings to around £350m.

Says Havas ceo Fernando Rodés Vilà: "We have had problems to get into some key [account] pitches in the UK because we didn't have the clout. Volume counts for image."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff