Deloitte and OC&C advise on sale of The Citation Group

27 August 2020 2 min. read

Global private equity giant KKR has acquired The Citation Group, a provider of HR and employment law services to SMEs.

The change of ownership marks the third new private equity owner in years for Wilmslow-based The Citation Group. In February 2016, the company was snapped up by Hg Capital for £185 million, a financial investor in turn had acquired its majority stake three years previous from counterpart ECI Partners.

Under the wings of its investors, The Citation Group has grown into one UK’s leading providers of subscription-based HR and Employment law, Health & Safety, and ISO services – expert advice, software tools and audits / assessments – to small and mid-sized businesses. According to its own website, more than 40,000 companies across the UK have a subscription. 

“We have thrived together with Hg…. [they] have helped us drive continuous strong growth, during which time we’ve more than doubled our core customer base,” said Chris Morris, Grup CEO of The Citation Group. Now, under the guidance of KKR, a private equity firm that tends to focus on larger businesses, the company aims to “strengthen its position as a market leader” and “take the firm to the next level.”

KKR acquires The Citation Group from Hg Capital

Partners at KKR Tim Franks and Stanislas de Joussineau said that the financial investor backed The Citation Group for its “impressive track record of performance”, and are confident the firm has what it takes to “seize significant further growth opportunities.” 

The transaction was advised on by M&A experts from several consulting firms and law firms. Sellers The Citation Group and Hg were supported by OC&C Strategy Consultants (commercial due diligence), Deloitte (transaction support), Jefferies International (corporate finance), and law firms Addelshaw Goddard and Weil, Gotshal & Manges. 

While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, one source familiar with the deal said The Citation Group was valued at between £450 million and £525 million, based on £30 million to £35 million of EBITDA.

The Citation Group has offices in Wilmslow, Norwich, Belfast and Glasgow.