Matthew Freud buys stake in M&C Saatchi

PR guru acquires 3.3% of ad agency founded by brothers Charles and Maurice Saatchi. By Mark Sweney

Matthew Freud has taken a stake in M&C Saatchi, the advertising agency founded by brothers Charles and Maurice Saatchi.

The agency, which has clients including NatWest, Dixons and Currys, has revealed that Freud purchased a 3.3% stake last Wednesday.

Freud's investment in M&C Saatchi is in a personal capacity, rather than through his public relations firm, Freud Communications.

Freud Communications is 50.1% owned by Publicis, one of the world's largest advertising groups, which also owns the Saatchi brothers' former agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.

M&C Saatchi, which last week bucked the recession by opening an office in Geneva, is the second ad agency with which Freud has had an involvement. In April 2007 Freud Communications took over ad agency DFGW, eventually rebranding it as Freud Advertising.

Charles and Maurice founded M&C Saatchi in the mid-1990s after breaking away from Saatchi & Saatchi following its acquisition by Publicis.

In 2006 Charles sold his 7% stake in M&C Saatchi, but Maurice remains an executive director.

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Mark Sweney

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Matthew Freud | MediaGuardian 100 2010
Job: chairman, Freud Communications
Age: 46
Industry: public relations
Turnover: £33m
Staff: 172
Worth: £190m (joint, with wife Elisabeth Murdoch)
2009 ranking: 74

19, Jul, 2010 @4:54 AM