Accountancy firm secures significant investment from Palatine

Ian Gould, David Baldwin, Shaun Knight, Richard Thomas and Ed Hill

Palatine has acquired a significant minority shareholding in a Midlands headquartered accountancy firm, as it sets its sights on further growth.

David Baldwin and Shaun Knight (former directors of the accountancy group Baldwins) set up BK Plus in February 2021 which has since established a strong presence having completed 12 acquisitions, with more than 10 offices and employing nearly 300 staff.

With offices in Blackheath, Bromsgrove, Dudley, Solihull, Uttoxeter, Warwick, and Wolverhampton, BK Plus has recently extended its footprint across the UK, with more offices in locations including Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Halifax, Oldham, and Stoke.

Palatine was established in 2005 as one of the first private equity houses headquartered outside of London. It says the deal will see BK Plus benefit from Palatine’s expertise in strategic buy and build and its approach to sustainability.

As part of the transaction, Mike Ward is being appointed Chairman, who brings with him a wealth of experience in the professional services sector as well as expertise in buy and build strategies having been CEO of Gateley.

Shaun Knight, CEO of BK Plus commented: “There is unprecedented opportunity within the accounting sector to acquire with like-minded firms across the country. Our growth to date demonstrates this, along with a significant pipeline of opportunity. Localness is the key to our core principles this mirrors Palatine’s structure and this was key to our decision in choosing them.”

“We could not have achieved what we have done to date without our exceptional management team and staff, this ensures we have a legacy and infrastructure for them to take forward into the future. I would like to thank Deepak Parekh of Shawbrook for pulling together a unique tailored debt package that will enable us to continue to rollout our growth strategy nationally. We also had great support and advice throughout from Nick Dawson and the team at Irwin Mitchell – a great testament of Birmingham professionals delivering yet again”.

Richard Thomas, partner and head of Palatine’s midlands team, said: “We are delighted to be backing such an experienced and ambitious team, particularly in terms of their ability to scale an accountancy group via acquisition and organic growth. BK Plus’s focus on client service to the SME market via a regional model means they are well-positioned to provide the support required to existing and new clients.”

Palatine was advised by RSM (Tax), Cortus (FDD), RPL (CDD), Partners; (Insurance), Cyberfort (Cyber Security), Gateley (legals) and Fluid IT (ITDD).

Other advisers on the deal included Clearwater, Trevor Foster (Management) and Eversheds
(Banking Legals).

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