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Engineering consultancy in multi million pound MBO


BWB Consulting Limited, a leading engineering and environmental consultancy, has undergone a multi million pound management buy-out backed by Yorkshire Bank and Catapult Venture Managers.  Tenon Corporate Finance advised the MBO team.

The deal provides an exit for founder and majority shareholder Malcolm Wright and gives control of the business to a four-strong management team comprising Steve Wooler, who takes over as managing director, Colin Langford, Tim Loveridge and Greg Nicholson.

Yorkshire Bank provided bespoke senior debt and working capital funding alongside Catapult’s equity investment.

BWB, which is based in Nottingham and has offices in Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Leicester and Manchester, employs around 250 people and provides multi-disciplinary engineering solutions to the property, development and construction industry.

Core areas include civil and structural engineering, geotechnical and environmental consultancy, flood risk and drainage engineering, traffic and transportation and highways and infrastructure consultancy. It also offers a range of additional services including regeneration and project management.

The business was founded in Nottingham in 1990 by Malcolm Wright, Chris Boon and Cliff Blunt.  Over recent years, Wright and the MBO team have established the company as a consultant of choice for a number of key clients in the East Midlands, later expanding into other areas.  Fee income has grown by over 20 per cent year on year since inception and is now around £17 million.

BWB’s clients include construction company Wilson Bowden, retailer Ikea, national student accommodation provider Unite and leisure operator Luminar and the company has worked on many flagship projects including Trinity Square in Nottingham, The Fort development in Birmingham, and Harlow town centre redevelopment.

Yorkshire Bank’s Specialist & Acquisition Finance team was led by Sue Varley, director in Nottingham and included associate director Meg Thomson.  Sue Varley said: “BWB has a proven reputation for its work on major development and regeneration projects, many of which are of real importance to the communities in which they are undertaken.  Despite the reported uncertainty around general construction activity levels over forthcoming months, we believe that there will be strong successes too and BWB are well positioned to support both ongoing projects and also as innovators to get new projects off the ground.    

“The management team are passionate about the business and confident that their blend of specialist services will continue to drive the group’s standing in the wider consultancy market. This deal provides them the autonomy to pursue opportunities for further growth while allowing the retirement of the founder Malcolm Wright who has worked hard to build the business to its current size and status.”

The deal was completed on behalf of Catapult Venture Managers by investment director, Graham Mold and Michael Quinn.

The Tenon Corporate Finance team (advisers to management) were led by Neil Gray, corporate finance director and Graeme Gladstone.

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