Chime gives up trying to sell its 27% stake as PR firm is expelled from trade body over secret campaign to stir up racial tensions

Bell Pottinger’s second-largest shareholder has walked away from the business by writing off its investment and handing the stake back to the struggling PR firm.

Chime, co-owned by US investment firm Providence Equity Partners and Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP group, has given up trying to sell its 27% holding after a scandal over a Bell Pottinger campaign in South Africa severely damaged the agency. On Monday the British PR trade body expelled Bell Pottinger from its ranks after the firm orchestrated a campaign to stir up anger about “white monopoly capital” and “economic apartheid” for one of South Africa’s wealthiest and most controversial families.

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