CAMPAIGNS: Management Buy-Out - Kyndal MBO in Scotland wins praise

Client: Kyndal International

PR Team: Atlantic Public Relations

Campaign: Scotland's largest management buy-out

Timescale: 19 September - 16 October

Budget: Undisclosed

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

MBO team.

Kyndal International has gained national recognition. The media regard

the company as one likely to be acquisitive and to develop new products.

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