Employee ownership adopted at deal origination specialist

Langcliffe International, a mergers & acquisitions buy-side deal originator, has become employee owned in a transaction organised by Azets.

Langcliffe based in Ilkley, was set up in 2012 by Mark Eardley (managing director) and Helen Postlethwaite (commercial director).

The business employs 17 professionals and a further five consultants.

It has grown in recent years across Europe capitalising on its relationships with vendor advisors, corporates and private equity firms.

The company introduces acquisition opportunities in a value range between £3m and £100m.

It currently generates more than 50% of its revenue from Europe and expects further growth to come from developing its activities in the US and Asia.

Eardley is transferring 73% of his shares to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Under the move, all employees will benefit financially from the future success of the company and Eardley and Postlethwaite will stay in the business.

The EOT Board will comprise Postlethwaite, chairman, Eardley and Langcliffe’s four managers, Poppy Briggs (Europe), Maryia Amrez (Private Equity), Joanna Hughes (Corporates) and Holly Cooper (Vendor Advisors).

Postlethwaite said: “We have deliberately adopted a policy of growing our own talent and empowering our staff to make decisions themselves.

“A lot of our success is based on their ability, loyalty, and understanding and advocation of our systems which are critical.”

Eardley said: “Selling the company to our employees through the creation of the EOT ensures the stability of the business for the long-term and supports our desire for further international growth.

“This move recognises the value our fantastic team has delivered over the years, and it is a very exciting opportunity for each individual to take a pivotal role as the business progresses.

“Creating a great place to work is fundamental to our business principles, and we’re very excited about the next stage of the journey.”

Langcliffe International was advised by Tariq Javaid, corporate finance partner, Richard Weston, corporate finance manager and Karen Sadler, senior tax manager at Azets. Jonathan Simms and Kaira Clarehugh at Clarion provided legal advice.

Javaid said: “Langcliffe International is a business exceptionally well-suited for employee ownership, being an organisation with a strong culture, firmly established values, and an emphasis on the quality of its people.

“It has been a privilege to work with Mark, Helen, and the team in assisting them with this transition and I am confident the company has a bright future as an employee-owned business.”

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