Management buyout could prove ticket to thrive for Wiltshire charity fundraising group

February 13, 2014

Wiltshire-based specialist charity fundraising services provider The Woods Group, which works with major organisations such as RSPB, National Trust and Motability, has been bought by its management team.

The Chippenham firm stages raffles, weekly lotteries, response handling and fulfilment allowing its charity clients to concentrate on core fundraising campaigns.

The deal, financial details of which have not been disclosed, was backed by Santander and Concertare Partners, the private equity investment vehicle lead by Nick Baker, who previously led the growth of Sharps Brewery and several other businesses.

The transaction provides the existing shareholders with an exit. Woods managing director Ian Scarr said: “We are delighted to have found a partner who shares our long-term values for the business and with similar long-term growth aspirations. We are looking forward to working with Nick and the Concertare team over the coming years.”

Nick Baker added: “We are delighted to be able to provide support to Woods and we are looking forward to enabling the business to continue to provide outstanding services to their clients in the charitable sector. Woods is an outstanding business with a core focus on providing high quality services to the charitable sector.”

Among corporate advisers working on the deal were Swindon law firm Clark Holt, which advised the management team, while rival Withy King, which has an office in Swindon, advised the exiting shareholders.

Accountants Baker Tilly, who have an office in Swindon, also advised the exiting shareholders. Tax advice to the management team came from accountancy firm Bishop Fleming, which has offices in Bath and Bristol, Exeter-based Isca Ventures were lead advisors with bank funding provided by Santander.

Concertare received legal advice from Bristol firm TLT while accountants Grant Thornton, which has an office in Bristol, undertook financial due diligence.

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