Springer & Jacoby, Germany's biggest independent advertising agency, has confirmed it is in talks with True North Communications about a tie-up that would enable it to expand across Europe.

The agency, which has made no secret of its international ambitions, has been looking for a partner for some months. However, a full-scale takeover is thought to be unlikely as Springer & Jacoby's founder, Konstantin Jacoby, is keen to preserve the agency's independence.

Instead, Springer & Jacoby is looking for a major advertising group to finance its European expansion in return for a stake in the company. A deal with True North would make sense as the company's FCB Worldwide network handles Daimler-Chrysler, the parent of Springer & Jacoby's flagship client, Mercedes-Benz. Having offices across Europe would allow Springer & Jacoby to target the European Mercedes account, particularly if it was part-owned by True North.

A Springer & Jacoby spokeswoman said that the agency was in talks with several possible partners, including True North. True North declined to comment.

In March Springer & Jacoby confirmed it was in talks with Omnicom about Omnicom becoming a minority shareholder in the German agency. The US company would also have been a logical partner for Springer & Jacoby because the Omnicom-owned agency, Merkley Newman Harty, handles the Mercedes-Benz account in north America.

By : Claire Cozens  | From: The Guardian

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