The Jenkins Group this week merged with the design wing of marketing and communications group Cobalt, but will retain the name The Jenkins Group. Nick Jenkins becomes chairman of the new group, Ian Woodhouse is chairman of parent group Cobalt.
A spokeswoman for the merged group would not comment on whether any money changed hands in the deal.
Under the arrangement, Jenkins’ 17-strong group has access to Cobalt’s 35 employees and vice versa. Meanwhile, interior designers David Vickery and Tim Oldman, who left The Jenkins Group two years ago, will continue to work with the group on a freelance basis (DW September 1995).
Jenkins says of the merger: “We benefit from Cobalt’s marketing and management expertise, giving us access to its overseas markets and freeing me up to spend more time on what I really enjoy doing: designing, lecturing and writing.
“Meanwhile, Cobalt can add our specialities – corporate identity, corporate publishing and signage – to its portfolio,” he adds. Cobalt specialises in exhibitions, launches, multimedia packages and retail.
Jenkins and Woodhouse have worked on a number of joint projects and Jenkins says a deal has been on his mind for a long time.
The Jenkins Group is working on a retail design concept which the two consultancies started together before they merged. It will be unveiled next month.
The merger is the latest expansion for parent group Cobalt, bringing its staff numbers to 52. It set up two years ago with three employees.
“While we have done a bit of pre-planning, we have still to get down to specifics. We need… to decide our market, where we are going, and so on,” says Jenkins.