We are delighted to have advised Education Personnel Management Limited on their sale to Citation.
Education Personnel Management Limited (EPM) was established in 1993, and is a leading provider of support services to the Education sector with a focus on HR advisory and payroll services. The business has an established geographic spread and works with over 1,250 schools across the UK.
The EPM Shareholder group approached us based on our experience in the Education and wider support services sectors, and asked us to assess a variety of options available based on the owner dynamics as well as market context.
We spent a significant amount of time with each of the shareholders and directors upfront to understand all the individual objectives. We quickly determined that the over-riding objective was to seek out a partner who would best support the business in maximising growth through the changing market dynamics - namely academisation.
The shareholders unanimously agreed to approach a shortlist of parties which we had vetted, with the objective of identifying the right partner for the business going forwards, whilst achieving value for existing shareholders. Whilst we initiated early conversations with the buyers, we worked closely with management to build a forecast five-year model. This was later included in the set of information reviewed by vendor financial and commercial due diligence. With a full suite of due diligence reports, financial model and information memorandum, we progressed conversations with each of the bidders and successfully received offers from all parties.
After careful consideration the shareholders chose Citation Limited (Citation) as the preferred party based on the complementary business models, room for both businesses to grow and chemistry between management boards. The transaction will see the existing management team continue to drive the growth of EPM across the UK with the additional backing of Citation.
We utilised time upfront to prepare the business and team for a transaction, which meant we were able to move from signing exclusivity to signing the SPA in 17 days whilst securing the teams’ objectives upfront.
“Having worked with Grant Thornton for over a year in the lead up to the transaction we found them to be exceptional in all areas. Their education sector expertise, contacts, proactive support from conception to completion was second to none, nothing was too much trouble. Their ability to rapidly tune in to our business and manage the project proactively allowed us to maintain focus on growing the business. All this resulted in a deal outcome we are delighted with and I would recommend the team without reservation.”Jennie Elliott CEO, Education Personnel Management Limited