Sports acquisition for Chime

Communications business Chime Group has made an acquisition push by securing three deals, the largest of which is the purchase of sports marketing company Icon, after raising £12.25 million in a placing.

Two thirds of the £11 million Icon transaction will be paid by way of a vendor placing, with the remaining 35 per cent in new ordinary shares.

London-headquartered Icon is a sports marketing business that specialises in brand promotion at sporting events around the world. It has clients including football regulation bodies FIFA and UEFA, and the Ryder Cup golf tournament,

Tim Bell, chairman of Chime and former founder of Saatchi & Saatchi, comments: ‘Sports marketing has been a great success for Chime and the acquisition of Icon will greatly enhance the range of our activities in this area.’

In separate deals, Chime, which has its headquarters in London, has also acquired the minority interests in Bell Pottinger Middle East and Facts International, financed from the proceeds of an additional placing of ordinary shares. Chime will raise £5.1 million through the placing to support the acquisitions and provide further capital for future buys.

Bell Pottinger Middle East is part of the Bell Pottinger Group, a public relations business based in the UK. Chime also owns ten other Bell Pottinger subsidiaries. Kent-based Facts International provides market research for clients such as Cancer Research UK and the BBC.

Bell adds: ‘The acquisition of the two minority interests is in line with our strategy of buying out, over time, minority interests in businesses, which Chime has set up with founding management.

‘We continue to look at other acquisitions which will increase the scope of our business and the additional cash raised in the placing will ensure that our balance sheet remains conservatively finance whilst giving us the flexibility we need.’

Nick Britton

Lexus Ernser

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

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