Founded in 1989, the agency has 25 employees and last year, William Murray’s fee income grew 15% to £2.2 million. The agency ranked 93 in PRWeek UK’s latest top 150. According to the list it is the 12th largest agency outside London.
Clients include Unilever Food Solutions, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, Quorn, The Ascott Limited, Santa Maria, Elior, BRITA and it is a rostered agency for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
The deal is the culmination of a plan started in 2012 and sees fellow director Dave Greenwood take a minority stake as part of the buyout. The MBO was achieved without any “external” financial support.
Stephen and Karen Browne, the agency’s existing owners, retain a minority stake. Karen takes on a new role as chairman.
She said: “The business is in great hands and I’m proud of everyone at William Murray for their passion, creativity and commitment they put into delivering our award winning campaigns. We have a strong and established client base and will continue our growth by building on our reputation as the UK’s specialist food, drink and hospitality agency.
“I’ve had an incredible 18 years and I’m delighted William Murray will continue to be led by an amazing group of people who will deliver the next stage of the agency’s growth.”
Murray added: “I’m delighted to have completed a management buyout of William Murray. While we can be proud of our achievements so far, we have big plans for the future. William Murray is an agency with a great history and fantastic reputation for being the UK’s specialist food, drink and hospitality agency.
“Over the last two decades the agency has grown substantially and we’ve adapted our offer to include digital, copywriting and marketing. We have an exciting journey ahead and I’m looking forward to the future.”