Meta poised for partnership

MetaDesign founder Erik Spiekermann is relinquishing control of central operations in the Berlin-based group, as it looks set to merge with, or be bought by, another consultancy.

Only last year MetaDesign London split from the rest of the MetaDesign group – which has offices in Berlin and San Francisco in the US – when the London arm was acquired by Swedish digital media consultancy Icon Medialab (DW 7 January).

With the German office of MetaDesign now also looking likely to be acquired, the split last year could point to a difference of management visions between the group’s international offices.

Typography guru Spiekermann has formally stepped down as a director of MetaDesign. The graphics and digital media business now appears to be in the process of being put up for sale.

Spiekermann has taken on the title of “consultant” to the supervisory board put in place as a requirement of its transformation from a private group into a listed company.

The group has not yet been valued, but it is expected to either merge with a third party and then float, or be acquired by a listed company.

As a result of his new position, Spiekermann is effectively freed up to pursue other initiatives, and is said to be considering ideas. These would be cemented in the eventuality of any merger deal.

“It is now pretty much public knowledge that MetaDesign is looking for a merger partner. It is also public knowledge that Erik Spiekermann is taking a back seat role,” says a source close to MetaDesign.

Since the MetaDesign network lost its London partner to Icon Medialab in December it has been looking for a new partner to complete the international group.

Meanwhile, the separated MetaDesign London, which is expecting to introduce a new name shortly, is planning to open offices abroad.

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