Five consulting firms advise on acquisition of Willerby by Equistone

29 June 2017 Consultancy.uk

Equistone Partners has purchased a majority stake in UK-based static caravan manufacturers Willerby from Caird Capital, for an undisclosed fee. Five consulting firms played a role in brokering the deal; EY and OC&C Strategy Consultants were among those who advised the buyers, while DC Advisory and L.E.K. Consulting advised the sellers. PwC meanwhile played a role on both sides of the table.

One of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, has announced its investment in Willerby, the UK’s foremost manufacturer of static holiday homes. Equistone acquired a majority stake in the company from the Caird Capital group, and though the financial terms remain undisclosed, Willerby generates an annual turnover of £155 million, suggesting the fee would be substantial.

As the company looks to expand within a growing UK holiday home market, as the falling value of pound sees more consumers likely to holiday domestically while an ageing population see major growth in ‘staycations’, Equistone’s investment will be used for new product development, and quality production to meet the subsequent boom in demand.

Equistone buys a majority stake in UK-based static caravan manufacturers Willerby

Founded in 1946, Willerby is the largest provider of static caravans and lodges in the UK, having since established itself within the holiday home market as a brand associated with premium quality, technical innovation, and breadth of offering. The company produces 70 different models of static caravans and lodges across 23 product ranges at a variety of price points.

The acquisition gives Equistone, which established itself as an independent investment firm following a 2011 buyout of Barclays Private Equity by its staff, hopes the move will provide access profit generated from long-standing relationships within retail markets as well as consumer sales, with Willerby boasting an extensive national dealer network and long-standing relationships with holiday park operators.

Equistone was advised on the acquisition by a number of firms, including consulting industry players EY and OC&C Strategy Consultants along with PwC. The Big Four firm meanwhile also advised Caird Capital on the sale of their shares, alongside fellow professional services firms DC Advisory, DLA Piper and L.E.K. Consulting.

Other advisory firms that served Equistone are Lincoln International, Marlborough Partners, Travers Smith, and Newton. Willerby’s management was given additional advice by Jamieson Corporate Finance and CMS.

EY, OC&C, PwC, DC Advisory and L.E.K. Consulting

Andi Tomkinson and Richard Briault-Hutter from Equistone led the firm’s investment in Willerby. Tomkinson, who is also Investment Director at Equistone Partners Europe, commented, “A strengthening ‘grey pound’ driven by demographic change and the long-term upswing in Britons’ propensity for ‘staycations’ – the opportunity to invest was an exciting one. We look forward to working with the entire Willerby team to help the business realise its potential for further growth.”

Peter Munk, CEO of Willerby meanwhile commented, “The market opportunity within the UK holiday home sector is exciting and, with our scale, skilled passionate people, technical innovations, and leading production, we are well-placed to capitalise upon it. We’re delighted to have found in Equistone an investor with not only a proven track record in supporting mid-market companies’ growth, but also an understanding of the importance of our proud history of premium quality and technical innovation to the Willerby brand’s success.”

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