Baker Tilly Corporate Finance completes three deals

08 January 2015

Baker Tilly’s Corporate Finance team in the North West has recently completed a hat-trick of deals. Looking forward, the business advisory firm expects the M&A appetite to sustain in 2015.

Hat-trick of M&A deals
In Q3 olast year, Baker Tilly’s North West Corporate Finance team advised on the sale of veterinary practice Willows Veterinary Centre to UK-based Sovereign Capital, an equity specialist which invests in the healthcare services, education & training and business support services sectors. As part of the deal, Baker Tilly developed a strategy that facilitated growth in the business of Willows. A deal that, according to the consulting firm, will provide Willows with “real opportunities to grow and strengthen the business with the support of Sovereign Capital.”

Baker Tilly Corporate Finance completes three deals

In the last quarter of 2014, the firm advised on two deals, the first of which was the £6 million investment by Piper in Hickory’s BBQ chain. The firm advised Neil McDonnell, founder of Hickory’s BBQ chain, and other Hickory’s shareholders throughout the deal process. For Hickory the deal will prove positive: “Piper has a significant amount of expertise in the hospitality sector, and so pairing them with Hickory’s dynamic management team is a positive move that will help them achieve their ambitious growth plans for the future,” Baker Tilly notes. The second deal the M&A specialists assisted on was the management buy-in and buyout (BIMBO) of leisure home manufacturers Cambrian Leisure by YFM Equity Partners. As part of this deal, the firm advised the management of Cambrian Leisure throughout the process.

James Wild - Baker Tilly

Buoyant M&A environment
According to James Wild, Corporate Finance Director for Baker Tilly, the recent series of deals is the result of the buoyant environment for mergers and acquisitions in the mid-market: “The environment for M&A in the mid-market is buoyant at present in the region with increased appetite from private equity investors and trade buyers. In 2014 we have seen an increase in deal valuations and a willingness to progress with key business decisions without undue delay.” The firm expects the appetite to sustain in the coming year, of which the firm will be able to profit: “There’s every reason to think that this appetite will continue into 2015, and the strength and depth of our private equity experience and expertise puts us in an excellent position to deal with these.”


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”