The management of Edinburgh’s largest advertising agency, Faulds Advertising, is considering a management buyout and is preparing to sell off its media division.
Faulds managing director Dennis Chester admits he has periodically discussed a management buyout with Faulds founder and owner Jim Faulds but has not yet been able to pin down a deal.
He says: “To say that now is a good time wouldn’t be wrong, it would be an interesting time to do it [an mbo]. I wouldn’t rule it out. But Jim and I have been together for 15 years. It would be exciting but it would be a split as well.”
Jim Faulds owns just over half of the Faulds group – including associated businesses such as The Glasgow Agency. Chester is believed to own about 20 per cent of the company, with another minority shareholder owning the remainder.
Chester confirms he is talking to media independents in London, Scotland and the North of England about the sale of Media Faulds.
Faulds media director Sara Maclean and three other media staff announced their departures from the agency in March. The 16-strong department now contains 12 staff who handle &£25m worth of business from the agency’s total &£40m billings – including Kwik-Fit and Auto Trader and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Chester says the media deal has not been initiated by Faulds: “As soon as Sara Maclean left I started to get offers. I turned the first couple down because the deal has to be incredibly subtle – our clients have to benefit.”
Jim Faulds founded the agency in 1985 but in 1998 took a back seat, becoming chairman, and handing over the day-to-day running of the agency to Chester.