Publicis makes £14 million cash offer for Chemistry

Charlton and Garton: deal sees them join the Publicis UK board
Charlton and Garton: deal sees them join the Publicis UK board

For an agency that has cultivated such a low profile - you'd struggle to name its management line-up without resorting to a Google search - Chemistry has proved to be an attractive proposition to Publicis Groupe, which this week agreed to pay £14.45 million in cash for the company.

If the deal goes through as anticipated, shareholders will receive 37p per share, a whopping 134.9 per cent premium on the London Plus Stock Exchange's 15.75p closing price. Joseph Garton, the Chemistry chief executive, and Diane Charlton, the agency's managing director, will both join Publicis UK's executive board. Each currently holds around a 10 per cent share in Chemistry.

Andy Collins, a senior partner at Results International, which advised Chemistry on the deal, said there are reasons why Publicis is paying such a premium: "It's partly down to the scarcity factor. Chemistry is a strategically thinking digital agency, and very few agencies can truly say that they offer that at the moment."

Chemistry employs 178 staff and its client list includes Unilever, Diageo, Emirates and Orange, which uses the Publicis Groupe-owned Fallon as its ad agency.

Chemistry will be brought into the Publicis UK group and will report to Nigel Jones, the chairman of Publicis UK. It is unclear how the move will affect Publicis Dialog and Publicis Modem, the group's CRM and digital specialists.

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