TMP Worldwide buys Australia's Neville Jeffress

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SYDNEY--Australia's largest independent advertising group, Neville Jeffress Advertising, which dominates the lucrative print, press and recruitment niche, has been bought by U.S. giant TMP Worldwide for an estimated $22 million. The change of ownership is expected to be completed by mid-July.

NJA and its subsidiary, Armstrong Advertising, rank sixth in Australia with billings of $165 million and income of $25 million last year. It was founded 48 years ago by Chairman Neville Jeffress, 75, who has tried twice to retire but returned when a suitable successor could not be found.

The group employs 425 people and has offices throughout Australia and New Zealand. "It has been a hard decision but I'm not getting any younger", Mr. Jeffress says of the sale.

New York-based TMP Worldwide is the 14th biggest advertising agency in the U.S. with gross income of $137 million.

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