Scotland business

Equator takes controlling stake in brand agency 999 Design

Equator website screen grab Image copyright Equator
Image caption Equator's clients include SSE, insurance firm Axa, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts and Edrington Group, producer of The Macallan whisky

Glasgow-based marketing firm Equator has bought a controlling stake in established brand agency 999 Design Group.

999 Design, which was founded in 1982, has worked with brands such as The Financial Times and Highland Spring.

It will become part of Equator's portfolio of marketing businesses, including Equator PR.

Equator said acquiring the Glasgow and London agency was part of a major growth strategy.

It already expects to increase revenues to more than £15m in the current financial year.

999 Design currently employs about 25 people.

Equator counts Disney, Tesco Bank, Malmaison, SSE and Macdonald Hotels and Resorts among its clients.

'Exciting milestone'

Equator managing director John McLeish said: "This is an exciting milestone in the evolution of the Equator Group.

"999 Design is a well-respected and long standing agency with tremendous brand experience, working with internationally renowned brands including The Financial Times, Highland Spring, BBC and Victoria Beckham.

"Previously 999 Design worked extensively on major brand projects for BT, Reebok and Orange.

"The team's design and creative expertise will further strengthen our own integrated approach to working with national and international brands and we are hugely excited by the opportunities we can create together."

Equator was established as a digital agency in 1999. Last year it became an" ideas agency", aimed at helping brands "connect with audiences in more meaningful ways across digital and off-line channels".

The agency currently employs 140 staff at its Glasgow headquarters and has a business development base in New York.

The acquisition of 999 Design boosts its office footprint to include premises in Shoreditch, London.

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