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Former Shandwick director pays £6m for MacLaurin

The Hatch Group, a PR start-up company set up by former Shandwick director, Michael Murphy, has bought MacLaurin Communications for more than £6m.

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It is understood that MacLaurin founder, Brian MacLaurin, has pocketed about £5m from the sale of the agency. The firm's five other directors will share the remaining £1m between them.

The Hatch Group has received £20m in funding from the Bank of Scotland and private equity firm, Bridgepoint Capital. Murphy, who left Shandwick after its founder Lord Chadlington resigned, is Hatch's group's chief executive, and MacLaurin will be managing director.

Murphy wants Hatch Group to join the UK top 10 and the top 15 European PR agencies within three years.

MacLaurin. which specialises in technology and media and entertainment, includes Disney, BT Cellnet, Associated New Media, Emap Elan, ATOC and the Miller Group in Scotland among its clients. The company will continue to trade under its own name.

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