WML Consulting completes management buy-out

17 July 2018 Consultancy.uk

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.

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SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

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.”