Chime converts French rugby deal

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The Independent Online

Lord Bell's Chime Communications has tried to put the lobbying scandal involving its PR subsidiary, Bell Pottinger, behind it with the acquisition of a group of leading French rugby agencies.

Chime's sports marketing arm, Essentially, is buying an 85 per cent stake in businesses owned by agents Pascal Forni, Miguel Fernandez, Laurent Laffitte and Nigel Geany for up to €3.9m (£3.2m). The agencies – which represented 14 of this year's French Rugby World Cup squad including Sebastien Chabal – will be rebranded as Essentially France.

Bell Pottinger was mired in controversy earlier this month after The Independent revealed it boasting of special access to cabinet ministers.