WML Consulting completes management buy-out

17 July 2018 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Stockport-headquartered engineering professional services firm WML Consulting has been purchased by its management team. The firm will use its new-found independence to grow its footprint in the UK’s retail and construction sectors.

A management buyout (MBO) is a variety of acquisition where a company's existing managers acquire a large part or all of the company from either the parent company or from the private owners. The venture capital industry has played a crucial role in the development of buyouts in Europe, especially in smaller deals in the UK, the Netherlands, and France.

Formed in 1983, WML advises some of the UK’s leading high street retailers on store development and provides designs for major developers, building contractors, universities and public sector bodies across the UK. The consulting firm boasts a headcount of around 40 professionals, and an annual fee turnover of roughly £3 million. As WML looks to gun for the next stage of growth, the civil, structural and geotechnical engineering firm has undergone a management buy-out.

WML Consulting completes management buy-out

The deal will allow for the retirement of long-serving directors, Raymond McDonald and Christopher Wallace, while handing control of the business to Nigel Garside and co-directors Andrew Leng and Loughlin O’Gorman. The transaction was reportedly backed by a six-figure loan from UK-based venture capital firm Mercia Fund Managers, while Watts Commercial Finance provided fundraising advice to the management team.

Andy Heaton, Investment Manager with Mercia Fund Managers, said of the deal, "WML is a well-established and respected consultancy. Nigel, Andrew and Loughlin have been responsible for its day to day management for the past two years in readiness for completion of the MBO – this deal enables them to take overall control of the business and take it forward.”

Recently, WML Consulting has worked on numerous high-profile developments in the North West and beyond. Among these have been Manchester’s new Spire Hospital and city centre Kampus residential development. The engineering consultancy also specialises in refurbishment and redevelopment for historic buildings, having provided services for projects including Bolton Market, Victoria Baths in Manchester, while advising on ballistic containment for police firearms training facilities.

Related: Clearwater International and PwC advise on MBO of Pizza Hut UK.