Digital agency Equator takes control of 999 Design

Glasgow digital design and marketing agency Equator has bought a controlling stake in rival 999 Design Group.

Equator founder John McLeish said the acquisition of 999 marked 'an exciting milestone'. Picture: John Devlin

Equator managing director John McLeish said the acquisition of 999, which has offices in Glasgow and London, was part of a “major growth strategy” aimed at increasing revenues to more than £15 million in the current financial year.

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McLeish, who founded Equator in 1999, added: “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.

“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.”

999 was set up in 1982 and has about 25 staff. The branding agency’s founders, Bill Gaughan and Richard Bissland, will remain with the business.

Gaughan said: “We have admired Equator and its impressive growth for many years. With its strength in digital and our own brand expertise, we believe we can capitalise on many new and existing opportunities together. This is an exciting time for both businesses and we look forward to working with John and the team for years to come.”

Equator employs 140 staff at its Glasgow headquarters and has a business development base in New York. The acquisition of 999 boosts its office footprint to include premises in Shoreditch, London.