SJD Accountancy and Nixon Williams in £100m PE buy

Sovereign Capital, a specialist UK private equity firm, has acquired 22-year-old SJD Accountancy, the largest accountancy provider to the contractor market, along with the firm Nixon Williams in a £100m deal

The combined firms – which are expected to have a £25m fee income comprising £20m from SJD and £5m from Nixon Williams - will be managed by a board, chaired by Jeremy Newman, former CEO of BDO International and current chairman of the Audit Commission.

In addition, former CEO of Plusnet and conference calling specialist Powwownow, Simon Curry, will serve as the group’s CEO.

The firms will continue to operate from existing offices, with SJD’s national network of offices and Nixon Williams’ Blackpool base where it provides a ntional service via telephone and email, without any closures.

The combined staff of 280 will focus on 18,000 limited contractor clients in the UK, offering accountancy services including year-end accounts, corporation tax, bookkeeping, payroll services and quarterly VAT calculations.

Other transitions will see Claire Johnson, managing director of SJD becomes group operations director while Julian Carnell, sales and marketing director at SJD Accountancy will become group sales and marketing director.

Kevin Budge, having completed the successful private equity exit of Avelo FS to Iress, will take on the group CFO role.

SJD Accountancy – now a major specialise provider of fixed fee, limited company accountancy services to contractors, freelancer's and small to medium sized businesses - was founded in 1992 by entrepreneur Simon Dolan.

Nixon Williams was established in 1995 by Alan Williams and Andy Nixon, and experienced similarly strong growth, reflecting its particular expertise in the IT contractor market.

Curry said that both firms are excellent businesses, ‘fully focused on providing clients with a highly efficient service’.

‘Both businesses receive a significant number of referrals from existing clients and enjoy long term client relationships. The economic landscape has shown continued growth in the contractor market and we look forward to building upon the pace of growth these businesses have achieved,’ said Curry.

Sovereign Capital, the UK private equity Buy & Build specialist, has a strong track record and specific expertise in the service based sectors of business support services, healthcare and education & training.


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