Two of the media industry's most colourful figures are going into business together following the sale by Jenny Halpern Prince of a 50.1 per cent stake in her public relations agency, Halpern, to Johnny Hornby's advertising agency group.
Both boast high-powered connections as she is the daughter of the retail magnate Sir Ralph Halpern, who founded Topshop and revived Burton, and he is the half-brother of novelist Nick Hornby and brother-in-law of the thriller writer Robert Harris.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed but industry sources estimated that Halpern was valued at about £6m in the deal with CHI & Partners. Ms Halpern Prince said the deal would offer her clients, including Unilever, a wider range of marketing services and access to CHI's offices in America and Asia.
She added that keeping a 49.9 per cent stake would motivate Halpern's management team. "This is not selling out. This is to find the appropriate partner after 20 years to take it to the next level."
Mr Hornby said it made sense for CHI to expand into PR and other areas such as digital, as he believes the best way to support clients is "to get specialists from all different disciplines around the table from day one".
CHI's clients include Samsung and TalkTalk and it is one of Britain's biggest independent agencies with billings of £158m.