Client: Kyndal International
PR Team: Atlantic Public Relations
Campaign: Scotland's largest management buy-out
Timescale: 19 September - 16 October
The senior management of JBB (Greater Europe) was to complete Scotland's
largest ever management buy-out - worth £200m - through a new
firm, Kyndal International.
The acquired businesses, which were formerly wholly-owned subsidiaries
of Jim Beans Brands Worldwide (part of Fortune Brands), included the
former Whyte & Mackay and Invergordon Distillers groups.
As with all MBOs, the day of the deal's conclusion was not set in
When the announcement was ready, Atlantic PR had to be ready to help its
client convince employees, suppliers, customers, the financial community
and the media that the MBO - including bringing the company back under
Scottish management - was a good one.
Atlantic had four weeks to prepare press packs, media training, internal
communications, PA liaison, investor relations and media lists. It
worked with other marketing companies on a new corporate identity, brand
name and website. Atlanic also had to liaise with the companies involved
in the financial structure of the MBO.
Strategy and Plan
Atlantic had 16 hours from the conclusion of the MBO to announce the
story to employees and the media.
The consultancy timetabled its UK programme to coincide with the US
stock market announcement. In the UK 800 employees were given
'communication packs' and the use of a hotline. Letters were ready to be
sent to customers, trade organisations, and business partners. Six
Atlantic staff worked overnight to ensure the information was ready.
More than 300 news and business desks received details of the MBO within
45 minutes of the first press release issue.
During a three-hour period journalists came in for one-to-one interviews
or conducted phone interviews with the chairman and CEO.
Measurement and Evaluation
Kyndal International received widespread favourable coverage, with the
Daily Mail headline - 'Truly spirited move - top scotches are put back
in Scots hands' - one example of this.
The MBO was greeted as a good piece of business, safeguarding jobs,
bringing a Scottish business into Scottish ownership, and projecting the
vision of the management team.
Every sector of importance to Kyndal International - from local media
near its distilleries to drinks publications and key business media -
presented a positive profile of the MBO.
Daily requests for follow-up interviews are still coming in. The result
has been continued positive coverage of the deal, plus profiling of the
Kyndal International has gained national recognition. The media regard
the company as one likely to be acquisitive and to develop new products.