North west based multi-family investment office, Arete, has announced it has led a private investment into business solutions group, Leonard Curtis, in a deal which values the business at £40m. The deal, which saw a £15 million investment into the professional services firm, was a venture led by Arete in partnership with Svella.
Arete and Svella will utilise their combined resource and expertise, working alongside the Leonard Curtis management team to enable the LC Group to enter its next phase of growth.
With 239 employees working across its 18 offices in the UK and the Channel Islands, the Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group is the largest privately owned professional services provider of corporate restructuring and insolvency in the UK and in the last financial year generated revenues of £25m and EBITDA of £6m.
The business was founded in 1995 and offers a range of financial solutions to SMEs and business owners, including corporate restructuring and insolvency, legal services via LC Legal and finance raising via Reach Commercial Finance. The group is also parent to Lifecycle, a unique national network of over 1,600 member firms of accountants, created to help provide clients with the specialist services they need beyond the normal compliance-based offering.
The deal is another platform investment for Liverpool-based Arete following its £10m investment in April this year in Tactus in addition to the firm’s recently launched Arete Zero Carbon division.
Simon Lord, joint managing partner at Arete Capital Partners, said: “Leonard Curtis has a strong core business model and its management team has a clear vision for the future. Combined with our experience in building professional services businesses, we believe our exciting partnership with Leonard Curtis will further strengthen its position as a leading business solutions provider in the UK. We have built a strong relationship with the management team throughout the process and our shared values give me confidence that we can bolster the LC Group, leverage its existing capabilities and bolt on incremental specialist services for the group’s SME client base.”
Andrew Tinkler, Executive Chairman at Svella, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to allow a pooling of complementary expertise and experience, working in partnership with the team at Arete, in supporting the Leonard Curtis management team as they work to deliver on their plans to achieve their ambitions for growth and strengthened expertise in this sector.”
Daniel Booth, CEO at Leonard Curtis, said: “Our plans for growth have been in the pipeline for some time and this investment from Arete and Svella will enable us to fulfil these plans and reach our potential at a time where we expect a surge in demand for the services we provide.
In addition, this will create opportunities for everyone at Leonard Curtis. Our people are our greatest asset and without them the growth achieved to date in the business would not have been possible and they will play a huge part in creating our exciting future.
Leonard Curtis CFO, Jon Mercer commented: “Arete and Svella each understand the professional services landscape and we are looking forward to working together with them, leaning on their expertise and also the relationships they have established within the market.”
The transaction was led by Simon Lord, Matt Cheetham and Jamie Newall at Arete and Ben Whawell, Holly Loudon and Daniel Sofaer at Svella. Dan Wright, Ben Dilworth (financial due diligence), Stuart Cottee and Julie Campbell, Deloitte (tax) also advised on the deal. Paul Medlicott, Rachael Norris and Daniel Conway of Addleshaw Goddard advised the investors and Ian Riggs, James Down and Harriet Adgie of Hill Dickinson and Bernard McIlroy of MSA Law advised the sellers.