Scottish professional services firm AAB secures growth investment

03 November 2021 2 min. read
More news on

Scottish accountancy and business services group AAB has received backing from private equity firm August Equity. The investment comes as the professional services firm seeks to expand its operations.

Graeme Allan, Chief Executive of Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), said, “We are enjoying a fantastic period of growth but see so many opportunities to invest more heavily to fast-track this. August Equity’s investment will be instrumental in helping us build a high-quality regional business services group across the UK. They are also a great cultural fit and are as excited about our partnership and the future as we are.”

Aberdeen headquartered AAB has been looking to expand its offering consistently in recent years. 2018 saw the firm launch a dedicated consulting firm, in a bid to boost revenue growth. Amid the digital-disruption wrought by the pandemic, the firm has enjoyed a rise in demand for its tech-enabled services for the SME and enterprise markets.

Graeme Allan, CEO, Anderson Anderson & Brown

AAB will now work closely with August, seeking M&A opportunities to ramp up capacity faster, by partnering with firms who adopt a similar ethos to helping companies achieve their goals. At the same time, the firm will use the backing to shore up its development of its existing staff. Part of this will see it establish a “wide equity ownership,” according to Allan, while maintaining the opportunity for “real partner progression for the future leadership of the group.”

The Aberdeen practice currently employs about 350 in Scotland and also has a London office. This year it has already acquired Glasgow-based accountancy firm Hardie Caldwell and Edinburgh-based Purpose HR – but the deal with August Equity will provide “significant” funds for the Scottish company to grow in the English market.

David Lonsdale, Partner at August Equity, noted, “We are delighted to be investing in AAB and we are excited to be working with Graeme and the team. We look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of AAB and build a leading tech-enabled, business critical services group which is highly differentiated in the market.”

The dealmaker

Mid-market investment banking advisory firm Alantra supported AAB during the investment process. The Alantra team advising AAB comprised Richard Holden, Josh Jones, Harry Sparks and Harry Caro. The transaction was the latest in a series for Alantra’s Business Services team, which has completed 20 deals so far in 2021. 

Richard Holden, Partner and UK Head of Business Services at Alantra, commented, “We’re pleased to have found AAB exactly the right partner in August Equity to support its growth trajectory and capitalise on the huge opportunity to create a forward-thinking firm of the future. AAB has struck the right balance between tech-enabled scalable growth in critical services and having a strong culture that binds the business together, unlike many of the historical consolidators in the accountancy sector.”