Top Scots teams in takeover deal

Major Scottish consultancy Tayburn has taken over McIlroy Coates, the group which started in 1981 as a breakaway from Tayburn. The new consultancy will be known as Tayburn McIlroy Coates.

The takeover brings the combined group’s turnover to 7m, and makes it Scotland’s largest consultancy with a staff of 80. It will operate from Tayburn’s Edinburgh headquarters.

Andrew Hunter, McIlroy Coates managing director and a founding member of Tayburn, becomes creative director at the new consultancy. Design director Graham Scott, finance director Simon Scott and production director James Stewart are on a 12-week contract, as Tayburn “has staff in the equivalent positions already”, according to Tayburn chief executive Erick Davidson. “Graham wanted to go freelance anyway,” adds Hunter.

All but three of McIlroy Coates’ 19 staff will be employed by the new consultancy.

Davidson feels the main advantage of the takeover, which has been planned since February, will be increased access to technology. “We’ve invested 750 000 over the past three years in software, which is a lot of money. We’d like to look at multimedia and want to design annual reports on CD-ROM. This kind of investment needs to be utilised by a large number of people, and now we have more to spend on technology.”

According to Hunter, the new “cross-fertilisation” of designers will enable the company to “bring in the jobs we’ve dreamed of and make them real prospects”.

– Tayburn McIlroy Coates is to launch a specialist packaging arm called The Branding Iron, headed by director Campbell Laird. Clients from the food and drink sector will be the main thrust, and two designers will initially be involved. The new arm’s first project, packaging for a Gordon’s Gin and Tonic sorbet, will be unveiled this week.

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