Media Services Shops Were Involved in Suit Over New Line Account

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NEW YORK ( -- Aegis Group's Carat North America today said it has acquired Independent Media Services, bringing to conclusion a deal that had began almost three years ago.

Carat will acquire the agency for $7.35 million, according to a statement released by Aegis in London. "Aegis and IMS have agreed to withdraw the outstanding litigation between them and to entirely vacate the judgment previously awarded to IMS," the statement said.

New unit formed
Carat will form a new unit, called

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Independent Media Services Claimed Breach of Contract
Carat IMS, that will be headed up by Robert Petizon, executive vice president at IMS.

Carat had entered merger talks with IMS in 2000, but instead of buying the independent shop, Carat scooped up IMS' largest client, the movie studio New Line Cinema. IMS sued Carat in October 2002 for breach of contract, misuse of trade secrets, unfair competition and illegal interference with business relations and won a $6.8 million judgment in New York State Supreme Court.

IMS had handled New Line Cinema's media business beginning in the mid 1980s. Billings had reached more than $100 million.

Neil Aronstam, president and CEO of IMS, in a statement today said: "Combining Carat's enormous investment in research and tools with Independent Media's unique knowledge and experience in the media and entertainment sector creates a capability that is special in the market. We are excited about the combination and the possibilities."

$20 million in billings
IMS accounts include MTV Networks, the Boston Herald, The New York Post and Oxygen, which total approximately $20 million in billings and will be handled by Carat IMS.

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