Wolff Olins team secures buyout

Speculation on the future of design consultancy Wolff Olins has ended with the announcement that a group of the company’s directors will effect a management buyout.

Shareholders decided to go ahead with a mbo after the sale of the company to Omnicom for an estimated 10m broke down earlier this month (MW February 14).

The mbo team will buy shares from Wally Olins, the founder and chairman; Brian Boylan, the deputy chairman; and Jane Scruton, the company secretary. All three will have a reduced shareholding in the company.

Olins will remain a member of the board for two years but will gradually reduce his input in the company as he approaches 70.

Boylan will become the new chairman and Scruton will continue as a director.

The mbo team, led by managing director Charles Wright, includes Kate Manasian, director; John Williamson, head of consultancy; and Doug Hamilton, creative director.

Olins says: “We looked at all the options and weighed up our recent successes. I am sure we are right to preserve our unique character and stay independent.”

The mbo team is considering personally financed capital as well as offers from venture capitalists to fund the buyout.

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