London-headquartered ad agency group Leagas Delaney has frozen its international expansion ambitions after the collapse of takeover negotiations with Canada’s Envoy Communications.

The deal, under discussion since last November, originally valued the Brit shop at £62 million (C$132.7m; US$87.12) but ran aground on the twin rocks of global slowdown and the loss of two key Leagas accounts - the BBC and Coca-Cola - factors which made it impossible to agree on price.

Leagas, which also has offices in the US, Italy, France and Germany, had agreed with Envoy plans to expand into Spain and Japan - now sunk along with the takeover.

Admitted chief executive Tim Delaney: “The collapse of the deal will slow down our ability to grow into new markets, but it was never our intention to conquer the world overnight." He declined to say whether another prospective buyer was in the frame, insisting that there would be no sell-out “for the sake of it”.

Leagas, formed after a management buyout from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, is also burdened by a repayment schedule to its former parent. AMV retains a 30% stake in the agency.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)