Corporate_PEQ_Management Advisory

Management Advisory

Space Engineering Services

Foot Anstey advised continuing management of Space Engineering Services, a leading national supplier of refrigeration services and plant manufacture, on the sale of a minority equity interest to an affiliate of Hillphoenix, Inc.

Matt Stoate, partner and Henry Humphreys, associate, advised the continuing management team alongside Baker Tilly's Bristol based corporate finance team (Ian Wherry and Clodagh Muggeridge).

Headquartered in Bristol, Space Engineering employs c.580 people across the UK, and has over 25 years’ experience in delivering Refrigeration, Mechanical and Electrical and HVAC services to the Food retail sector.  The deal saw an affiliate of US-based Hillphoenix, Inc. acquire a minority investment.

Matt Stoate said “We were delighted to play our part in this deal involving a Bristol success story with a number of our professional peers in the Bristol corporate finance community as well as being able to demonstrate the specialist management advisory expertise of our private equity team."

Dale Nouch and Mark Woods, joint Managing Directors, and Charles Murphy, Finance Director, of Space Engineering Services, commented “Foot Anstey understood exactly how a continuing management team needs to be appropriately included in a deal process, and incentivised by it. Matt and team guided us in a calm and considered manner, with sensitivity to the wider transaction, through those areas where our interests may have diverged from those of the majority shareholders. We valued their unconflicted, specialist advice immensely."





Management Advisory

James Tobias Management Team

Foot Anstey advised the continuing management team of Bridgwater based James Tobias Limited, the UK's leading provider of premium storage wall solutions for offices on their recent MBO backed by Altitude Partners.

A term-loan facility was provided by NatWest Structured Finance alongside RBS Invoice Finance.

James Tobias developed a market leading position in the design, supply and fitting of premium storage wall systems, engineered to maximize the efficient use of floor space in commercial offices, showrooms and schools.

The funding allowed the management team of Phillip Jones, David McLaren and Jon Dibble to acquire the business from its retiring owner.

Partner Matthew Stoate, assisted by Ken Lewins (associate, corporate) and Nicola Allen (associate,employment) advised the management team. Matthew commented, "we were delighted to be working alongside both the team at James Tobias, and their backers Altitude Partners, both businesses and organisations that reflect our own ambitions for future growth."

Philip Jones, Managing Director of James Tobias commented, "we are enjoying strong growth by supplying a premium quality product for the offices of businesses that are household names. The advice and service we received from Foot Anstey meant that at all times in the transaction we felt guided and advised by people who really understood the MBO process and led us through it in a very pragmatic and measured way".

Altitude Partners invest up to £3m in companies requiring development capital for organic growth, growth through acquisition or to support existing management teams undertake Management Buy-Outs, such as in this transaction.








Management Advisory


Foot Anstey’s Private Equity team advised Charlie Parsons Creative, the boutique investment company, on its backing of a management buyout of the Gaydar online dating business for an undisclosed sum.

The team advised television entrepreneur Charlie Parsons on the transaction which sees Charlie joining the board of Gaydar, which will be led by CEO Trevor Martin. The Gaydar brand will now focus entirely on its dating business; with six million registered users across more than 140 countries, it is one of the most popular global gay dating brands.

Charlie Parsons is one of the UK’s best known innovators within international media and entertainment. He previously co-founded Planet 24 where he created and produced award winning programming including The Big Breakfast and The Word. A double Emmy award winner for the reality show ‘Survivor’ which he created, Charlie brings a track record of international business success to the Gaydar brand.

Mark Speeks will also join the board of Gaydar. Mark has more than 20 years’ experience in the finance industry and was instrumental in the negotiation of the MBO.

Charlie Parsons, Founder of Charlie Parsons Creative said: “Although Gaydar is one of the best known gay brands in the world, there are many more opportunities to build on the success to date. The services provided to us by Foot Anstey throughout the MBO process were exceptional; we felt like they were an additional member of our MBO team, working tirelessly to completion and fully participating in all the key business decisions we had to make along the way”.


Management Advisory

Axio Data Group Management TEam

JOC Group Management

Foot Anstey's private equity team has advised the US-based executive management team of JOC Group Inc. (part of the Electra Private Equity backed AXIO Data Group) on the sale of the JOC Group Inc. to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

JOC Group Inc is the authoritative provider of business intelligence, data and events for container shipping and logistics professionals worldwide. Its products include;

  • PIERS, the most comprehensive database of US seaborne import and export activity in the world, providing data and information services to thousands of subscribers globally
  • The JOC, the leading information and marketing services provider for the US domestic and international containerised cargo community
  • TPM, the must-attend event for the global container shipping community with conferences in North America and Asia

Gavin Carter, CEO of JOC Group Inc. said, “We were recommended to use Matt and the Foot Anstey team by our trusted US lawyers. We were delighted with the level of support we received, which was pitched at the perfect level for a management team requiring a bespoke advisory, partner-led service. As a truly global market information and analytics company, IHS has a track record of buying and building businesses and we look forward to the opportunity to join such a dynamic company and become part of the IHS team – Foot Anstey more than played their part in making this happen.”

Matt Stoate, head of Foot Anstey's private equity group, led the specialist team that advised on this cross-border transaction. International work for the firm's leading Corporate Finance team continues to grow with links across the globe, but particularly in North America and the Middle East. Foot Anstey is currently ranked no.1 in the Experian Deal Review and Advisor League Tables for the South West.

Matt commented; "We were delighted to advise on this significant cross-border transaction which resulted from a personal recommendation to an experienced group of executives on our ability to provide City quality specialist advice to management teams. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the team and the referring US law firm."


BreakBulk Group Management

Foot Anstey's private equity team has advised the ROI and US-based management team on the sale of Breakbulk from the Electra backed AXIO Data Group for a maximum consideration of $42m (c.£26.8m).

Breakbulk is a global exhibition and educational forum for breakbulk and project cargo professionals. The acquisition also includes a print and digital magazine providing transport and logistics industry coverage.

Matt Stoate, head of Foot Anstey's private equity group, led the specialist team that advised on this cross-border transaction. International work for the firm's leading Corporate Finance team continues to grow with links across the globe, but particularly in North America and the Middle East.

Matt commented; "We enjoyed working on another significant transaction with a seasoned management team who came to us because of our growing international reputation to provide City quality management advisory expertise."

Ian Blackman, Chief Financial Officer, commented; "We have seen the Foot Anstey team in action on a related transaction and liked the bespoke advisory, partner-led service they offer – and a management advisory role requires.  Their involvement helped this deal achieve the tight timetable that the buyer and seller had set."

Foot Anstey’s Corporate Finance team regularly features highly in independent rankings; Foot Anstey has previously topped the Experian Corpfin Deal Review and Advisor League Tables for the South West and was also shortlisted for Corporate Law Firm of the Year at the SW Business Insider Dealmakers Awards 2014 and UK Law Firm of the Year at the Legal Week British Law Firm Awards 2014.










The private equity team at premier regional law firm Foot Anstey advised the management of Succession Group, one of the UK's largest privately owned wealth management businesses, on the sale of 50.1% of the business to private equity group Inflexion.

Founded in 2009 by four Directors, including CEO Simon Chamberlain and Corporate Director Paul Morrish, Succession delivers bespoke financial advice to private and corporate clients alongside operating a client asset custody platform. The highly experienced management team have created a post-RDR (Retail Distribution Review) integrated wealth management business of scale, currently employing over 110 people across the UK.

Inflexion's investment will enable the Succession management team to deliver their vision of creating the UK's largest independent wealth management business through a focused 'buy & build' programme.

Further funding will be made available by Inflexion to Succession to fund their continued acquisition of their membership base.

Paul Morrish commented, "This was a hugely important transaction for the Succession Group and we were immensely impressed with Foot Anstey's contribution to making it happen, not just the quality of advice, but also how they invested the time to understand our business and way of working and delivered a highly effective, bespoke, commercially focused service in what was often a complex and fast moving transaction. The team worked seamlessly and provided the level of advice and service one would expect from a City of London firm, working effectively with both the various Succession boards and our team of advisers.

We look forward to continuing our relationship with them as we work to deliver our vision of creating the UK's largest independent wealth management business through a focused 'buy & build' programme."


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