Aegis Group, the London-headquartered holding company for the Carat media agency network, is to acquire the media-buying assets of US rival Independent Media Services. The deal effectively buries the lawsuit filed by IMS against Aegis last year.
The case came to a head in October when a New York court found in favour of IMS, awarding it £4.3 million ($6.80m; €6.22m) in damages against Aegis and Carat USA for breaching a non-compete agreement when Carat gained the New Line movie theatre business.
The court rejected Aegis’ plea that it was awarded the business on a ‘blind review’ basis and had therefore not infringed its commitment to steer clear of IMS’ clients. In total, Aegis was liable for £6.5m in damages, legal costs and interest.
Although the UK group had an appeal pending against the ruling, both parties announced Wednesday their agreement “to withdraw all outstanding litigation between them and to entirely vacate the judgement previously awarded to IMS”.
Instead Aegis will pay just £4.7m for IMS’ assets. “The acquisition will enhance the position of Carat, Aegis' media buying division, in the highly competitive North American market,” it crowed.
Aegis, which has substantial market research interests alongside its media activities, is also mulling a bid for NFO, the MR unit put up for sale by debt-beset Interpublic Group.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff