TBWA buys network in central Europe

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VIENNA -- TBWA International, the 17th largest ad agency network in Europe, will soon announce the acquisition of a well-established Central European ad agency network called Hager.

The acquisition sharply accelerates TBWA's recent expansion drive in Central Europe and helps cement its relationship with two clients both agencies already work for: German personal and household products marketer Henkel and Italian confectioner Ferrero.

The combined agency, which will operate under the TBWA name, will have combined billings in Central Europe of approximately $75m, two third of which Hager accounts for. In 1996, TBWA's gross income for the whole of Europe was $144m and billings were more than $1bn.

Hager was founded in Vienna in 1952 and now has agencies throughout Eastern Europe. TBWA International President Alasdair Ritchie says Hager brings with it, "experience, heritage, volume and Henkel."

TBWA's already has agencies in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Its clients in the region include Nissan cars, Novartis drugs and Absolut Vodka. In addition to these countries, Hager has agencies in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia and Slovenia.

TBWA is also in the process of acquiring a majority stake in current Vienna affiliate Austria 3 TBWA, which also works for Henkel.

Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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