Majority stake in Portland Design acquired by boss

Portland Design managing director Ibrahim Ibrahim has bought out the company from the Business Design Centre Group, it has emerged this week.

Portland Design managing director Ibrahim Ibrahim (pictured) has bought out the company from the Business Design Centre Group, it has emerged this week.


Ibrahim, who joined Portland in 2000, had previously owned a 15 per cent stake in the business which he acquired in 2003 from BDC. Last week, he purchased the remaining 85 per cent, following what he describes as the group’s ‘restructuring and repositioning over the past 18 months from a retail business to become a more far-reaching retail, leisure and travel consultancy’. He declines to reveal the value of the stake.


Portland recorded a feeincome of £1.9m and a turnover of £2.2m during 2006. Projected annual growth in design feeincome for 2007 is 20 per cent.


According to Ibrahim, his approach towards the business will not change and his priority is to continue to build the team. ‘The successful diversification of our business, both geographically and in terms of market sectors, is what has driven me to acquire Portland,’ he says. ‘I am now able to move forward the business and develop it.’


Portland was set up in 1987 by BDC and is currently undergoing a rebrand. The Portland name will be retained but the new brand aims to reflect a more diverse strategic design offering. The consultancy operates as three divisions – developments, environments and visitor – working on branding and environmental design projects.


It employs some 15 designers and five freelances, and has a global client base including Carlsberg, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, NEC Group and Bangalore, Turin and Abu Dhabi airports.


Prior to joining Portland, Ibrahim was managing director at MTA Design.


No one at BDC was available to comment on the deal as Design Week went to press.


PORTLAND DESIGN
• Ibrahim Ibrahim joined in 2000 and acquired a 15% stake in 2003
• Rodney Fitch left as director of Portland to return to the helm at Fitch in 2003
• In 2005, Portland acquired the assets of exhibition and visitor attraction specialist Csáky Associates from Mice Group

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