STEPHEN McCranor and Keli Mitchell have staged a management buyout of Frame Group, the Glasgow-based creative communications agency.

The duo, who have been joint managing directors of Frame since 2019, have acquired a majority stake in the company under a deal that has led to the exit of Gary O’Donnell and Angus Walker.

Mr O’Donnell and Mr Walker had bought the business from founder Alan Frame in 2008 and were later joined by finance director Roslynn Mackay. Ms Mackay, who held a minority shareholding in Frame Group, has left too.

The MBO, completed for an undisclosed sum, comes nearly a decade after Mr McCranor, formerly director of communications at Greaves Sports, joined forces with Frame to launch a consumer public relations business in 2014.

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The business was created as a joint venture between the existing Frame advertising agency, Mr McCranor, and Charlotte Street Partners, the Edinburgh-based communications consultancy then jointly headed by Malcolm Robertson and Andrew Wilson.

Both the Frame advertising and PR businesses are now 100 per cent owned by Frame Group.

Charlotte Street Partners will remain a "significant minority shareholder" in Frame Group further to the deal.

Mr McCranor, who spent 11 years with Beattie Media and The Big Partnership earlier in his career, said: “Frame was quite early in adopting the integrated full-service approach, combining the creative and strategic might of a great ad agency with a PR and communications business, and this deal means that for the first time both companies will share the same owners, making our offering smoother and even more efficient.

“The team and I are grateful to Gary, Angus and Roslynn for the wisdom and guidance they gave us in recent years and for the opportunity to lead and now acquire the business. Malcolm and Andrew at Charlotte Street Partners were driving forces behind the start-up of the PR business and Malcolm continues to provide valuable support and advice.”

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Ms Mitchell said: “I’ve been a Framer for almost 20 years and the agency has never stood still – from the start-up days of Alan Frame to where we are now, as one of Scotland’s biggest and most exciting creative agencies.

“We work for great clients and brands across Europe, and we’re now working with some of the best talent Frame has seen in its 35-year history.

“I look forward to working alongside Stephen and the team to set out the next chapter of Frame’s story.”

Mr O’Donnell said: “Roslynn, Angus and I began a process of stepping back from the running of the business some time ago, so it was natural that a change in ownership would follow.

"An MBO was always our favoured exit, and we are delighted the senior team which has steered the company in recent times will now also own it into the future. We wish them every success.”

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Frame’s public relations business has been ranked in industry title PR Week’s 150 largest agencies report for the last four years.

In the years before the PR business was launched, Frame had built a reputation as one of Scotland’s leading advertising, design, and digital marketing agencies.

The wider frame group employs more than 60 people across its offices at Pacific Quay in Glasgow and on Princes Street in Edinburgh, with clients including Diageo, Serco, Topgolf, Virgin Hotels, ACCA, Vodafone, Scottish FA, and AGS Airports. The group turned over more than £8 million last year.

Mr McCranor and Ms Mitchell were advised in the MBO by Rav Singh, former finance director of Engine UK and global chief financial officer of TLC Marketing, supported by law firm MBM and tax advisors at Chiene + Tait.

Mr Singh has joined Frame as chief financial officer with immediate effect.