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Architects have Designs on Future after Management Buyout

Published: 14th December 2007

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Left to Right (Back) Chris Sellars, Head of Corporate Finance Hart Shaw; Emma Garth from Irwin Mitchell; Jonathan Herbert, Director Bond Bryan; Corporate lawyer Paul Roberts from DLA Piper; John Lee, Director Bond Bryan. (Front) Steve Tweedle from Yorkshire Bank; Kevin Grayson, Director Bond Bryan and Mary Broadhead, South Yorkshire Investment Fund.

One of the largest architectural practices in Yorkshire has designs on even greater success following a management buyout.

Sheffield-based Bond Bryan has agreed a 75 per cent MBO in a multi-million pound deal which sees four long-term directors share ownership of the company with the founders Jon Bond and John Bryan.

Independent South Yorkshire accountants Hart Shaw were lead advisers for the buyout, negotiating on behalf of the management team, arranging the necessary funding and project managing the transaction.

Chris Sellars, Head of Corporate Finance at Hart Shaw said: "Bond Bryan is a sector leading practice which has clearly benefited from a very strong leadership team. We have been delighted to act as lead advisor to the management team in this MBO to take the business on to its next stage. Jon Bond and John Bryan have built an excellent business which I am sure will benefit from their continued involvement."

South Yorkshire Investment Fund, advised by Keeble Hawson, provided an equity package to Bond Bryan with a major six-figure investment in the business. 

Mary Broadhead, Investment Director at South Yorkshire Investment Fund, added: "We were pleased to support the MBO of Sheffield-based Bond Bryan, one of the UK’s leading practices in the Education sector. This will enable the practice to develop on a national scale, while continuing to support business growth in South Yorkshire."

Bond Bryan, which has a staff of almost 150, is well-established in the private sector and its turnover is expected to exceed £11 million in the current financial year.

Under the buyout long-standing directors Kevin Grayson, Geoff Halliwell, Jonathan Herbert and John Lee now share ownership of the company with founders Jon Bond and John Bryan. Between them the team has over 100 years of combined experience at the practice.

Yorkshire Bank provided senior debt funding to support the transaction.  Kevin Hambling, Acquisition Finance Director, commented: "Bond Bryan is a market leading firm in its chosen area and we were very pleased to be given the opportunity to support the business in the next stage of its development.  The transaction had a number of complexities, but with the benefit of the input from the various advisers these were resolved to the satisfaction of all parties."

Banking and corporate lawyers from the Sheffield office of DLA Piper acted for Yorkshire Bank. The team was led by partner and corporate location head Richard May, and included banking associate Sarah Acton and corporate lawyer Paul Roberts.

Jon Bond and John Bryan will continue to play key roles within the practice and will manage various projects and client relationships.

Jon Bond added:  "The MBO injects capital into an already successful firm, enabling it to deliver increasingly high standards of design-led work. We have a superb team of talented people and we are delighted that they will now be able to fully share in the success of Bond Bryan."

"The deal would not have been possible without the skill of the financial and legal advisers, lead by Hart Shaw, which reflects the strength and depth of professional services in South Yorkshire."

For more information on how South Yorkshire Investment Fund can help your business please call 01709 386 377.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).