Canada's Cossette Buys Majority in UK Shop

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Canadian agency conglomerate Cossette Communication Group Inc. bought a majority interest in Britain's MCBD ad agency and its Elvis direct marketing and sales promotion subsidiary.

The acquisition is Quebec City-based Cossette's third in Britain, sixth outside Canada and 12th overall. Cossette paid $14.2 million for 51 percent in MCBD, with options to raise its shareholding to 75 percent in three years and the rest in five years.

MCBD's purchase is part of Cossette's plan to offer marketing services at all levels, including branding, direct and interactive marketing, sales promotion and public relations.

"It's what we call convergence communications," said Jean Royer, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cossette. "To sell convergence, we need to be able to offer all of the communication marketing services. So in every city where we go, that's what we want to build."

MCBD works on accounts like BBC Worldwide, Cadbury, Debenhams, Diageo, London's Metropolitan Police and Britain's Central Office of Information, which now lists all three Cossette agencies on its roster.

Cossette's other two shops in Britain are branding and design firm Identica and PR agency Band & Brown. Its U.S. properties are ad agency Cossette Post and DRTV specialist Tarsitano Creative, both in New York. The third possession is PainePR, a PR firm in Irvine, CA.

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