MetaDesign London has merged with Swedish digital giant Icon Medialab, as predicted by Design Week (DW 17 December).
According to MetaDesign London founding partner and creative director Tim Fendley, the group has effectively completed a management buyout from the Berlin-based MetaDesign. The non-cash deal with Icon, following an approach by the London group six months ago, involves a mutual exchange of shares.
Fendley and managing director Robin Richmond will continue to trade as MetaDesign London until a new name has been decided.
Their eventual roles and job titles are also still to be agreed.
Icon, listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, plans to become one of the top five global digital media groups.
In the last month it has agreed a merger in Norway with IT company Circle Innovation, and taken an 8 per cent stake in mobile telephony research and development group Radio Design.
MetaDesign London will be responsible for interactive branding throughout Icon, and help to integrate on- and off-line offers.
Icon has 1000 staff worldwide. Around 115 will be based in the UK, where MetaDesign London’s 35 staff will be joined by 80 from Icon’s local office.
The Swedish group supplies management consultancy, technology, design and communications, branding, human computer interaction and statistics and analysis. The latest merger is intended to help it offer increasingly integrated services.
Icon founder Erik Wickstrom says, “Some organisations are very unsure about the implications new media will have for their structures. Consumers’ expectations, in terms of creativity, make it difficult for traditional management.”
“In anticipating future developments, we wanted to be part of an integrated global player,” says Fendley of the deal.