Tributes paid to Lord Macfarlane

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Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden has died aged 95.

He founded the Glasgow-based commercial stationery company that bears his name in 1949, with a successful stock market float in 1973.

Macfarlane stepped down as chief executive of Macfarlane Group in 1990, becoming chairman and having overseen its first move into the packaging distribution business with the acquisition of Abbotts Packaging in 1980.

He retired as chairman of Macfarlane in 1998.

Macfarlane was also chair of United Distillers, after he joined Guinness in 1986 as part of the merger with United. He is an honorary life president of successor firm Diageo.

Born Norman Macfarlane in 1926, he was knighted in 1983, and created a life peer in 1991.

A supporter of the arts, he chaired the committee that oversaw the refurbishment of the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow, raising £13.5m to complete the works.

Stuart Paterson, chairman of Macfarlane Group, said: “I know I speak for everyone across Macfarlane Group who ever met ‘Lord Mac’, as he was invariably known, when I say that we are deeply upset by his passing.

“He was an inspirational leader, an astute businessman and a strongly supportive shareholder.

“He made countless friends, both across the packaging industry and within the company, during his time at the helm of Macfarlane Group and I know he will be dearly missed.”

Macfarlane Packaging chief executive Peter D Atkinson commented: “We were saddened to learn earlier today that Macfarlane Group’s founder, former chief executive, chairman and shareholder, Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden, has passed away.

“The thoughts of the whole Macfarlane Group team are with Lady Macfarlane and all the members of the Macfarlane family at this time.”

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland director, said: “Lord Macfarlane was a towering figure within the Scottish business community who made an equally invaluable contribution to cultural life in Scotland.

“A longstanding CBI member, Lord Macfarlane’s kindness, expertise and passion for industry was valued across the CBI – and particularly among those that served with him on a numerous CBI councils.”

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