Public relations specialists The BIG Partnership have undergone an £11m management buy-out by six board members, valuing the 40 per cent stake each held by owners Alex Barr and Neil Gibson at £4m with the expectation that they will slowly wind down their involvement.
Under the terms of the deal the shares will transfer over a seven year period to 2021 with board members stumping up a ‘modest’ sum to finance the changeover with the remainder sourced from ongoing profits from the business.
Founded in 2000, BIG has expanded to employ 115 people in five offices, generating a turnover of £8.3m in the year to May with 11 senior staff set to receive payments running into the tens of thousands.
Explaining the move Barr told the Herald: “We have been very lucky with our people and our clients. You just want to get to the stage where you secure the future of the business…and realise the investment you have made over 16 years in building it up from scratch.”
News of the change in ownership, negotiations for which have been shrouded in secrecy since getting underway in 2014, was broken by The Herald after staff were notified of the move yesterday.