Increase in buy-outs creates opportunities

Management buy-outs, which often involve new corporate design work, are rising in number, according to recent research from management consultancy KPMG.

KPMG reveals that management buy-outs are on the increase. 1995 is set to be the most active year this decade for MBOs, with 4.5bn-plus worth of UK deals.

“If you buy out an existing business and change its name, it’ll need a new look. Buy-outs mean work for designers,” says KPMG director Tim Roberts.

“There are two types of buy-out: the purchase of a section of a large conglomerate which will need to differentiate itself – in which case design will be important – or the purchase of a big name company, where it would be unnecessary to change the design,” explains Roberts.

Seventy management buy-outs of over 10m have been achieved this year, according to KPMG.

Meanwhile, design consultancies can themselves be the subject of management buy-outs, such as London consultancy

PI Design International (DW 19 May). And the graphic designers at building materials specialist Redland are considering a buy-out after Redland decided to disband its design team (DW 15 September).

Staff at London advertising agency Chiat Day are staging an employee buy-out from US parent Omnicom. Chiat Day is renamed St Luke’s, with an identity by in-house art director Julian Vizard, designer of the Conservative Party logo. “We’re deciding what percentage of our interiors will be designed internally and what externally,” says a spokesman.

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