Begbies Traynor in £4m acquisition of Leeds firm

Begbies Traynor Group is continuing on the acquisition trail, with its latest deal a £4m offer for business transfer agent Ernest Wilson, in a move designed to widen its business and asset disposal services

The firm has announced the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Ernest Wilsons & Co Ltd and of Ernest Wilson's (West Yorkshire) Ltd, which trade collectively as Ernest Wilson.

A long-established business based in Leeds, Ernest Wilson provides agency services for the sale of small businesses across the UK. It operates across a broad range of sectors ranging from food outlets and convenience stores to care homes, restaurants and hotels. The business has 24 employees and is led by an experienced, who will join the group.

In the financial year ended 31 July 2019, Ernest Wilson reported annual revenue of £2.2m, and pre-tax profits of £700,000, when reported on the same basis as the group. It had gross assets (excluding cash at bank) of £500,000 as at 31 July 2019.

Begbies Traynor says the acquisition enhances the group's existing transactional support services provided by Eddisons, which include the sale of commercial property, through agency and auction, together with machinery and business asset disposals. It is also complementary to the group's BTG Advisory and corporate finance offerings. 

The acquisition is for an initial consideration of £4m, to be satisfied by £3m in cash from the group's existing resources and through the issue of 1,163,874 new ordinary shares of 5 pence each in the group. The acquisition is on a cash free, debt free basis.

Under the terms of the acquisition, additional contingent consideration of up to £1.63m will be payable in line with the achievement of financial targets in the three years following completion.

Ric Traynor, executive chairman of Begbies Traynor Group, said: ‘Ernest Wilson is highly complementary to our existing services and, by extending our transactional service offering, will enable us to deliver a broader range of services to support business and asset sales. Ernest Wilson has a long track record of delivering both excellent service to its clients and strong financial performance, which we expect to build upon as part of the broader group.’

Earlier this month Begbies Traynor Group acquired Regeneratus Consulting 1 Ltd, an Exeter-based  advisory practice with expertise in legal services, restructuring and turnaround, debt advisory work and transaction management.

Founded in 2016 by Robert Insall, who is joining Begbies Traynor’s existing south west practice, Regeneratus Consulting supports businesses across a variety of sectors, ranging from owner-managed SMEs to FTSE 100 companies.

Julie Palmer, regional managing partner of Begbies Traynor in the south west, said: ‘Robert and the team at Regeneratus Consulting have successfully grown the practice overthe last three years, so this acquisition will provide a natural extension to our south west offering.

‘It will particularly support the continued growth of our advisory practice, with the team at Regeneratus providing complementary expertise across a number of areas. We
look forward to working with them to both broaden and continue our support to businesses across the region.’

By Pat Sweet

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