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Dow Schofield Watts reports 28 per cent rise in deals

Roger Esle

Advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts has reported a significant uplift in the volume and value of deals in the first half of the year for its Northern offices.

The teams in Yorkshire and the North West advised on 37 deals worth £549m during the first six months, compared to 29 deals worth £344m over the same period last year.

The firm, which moved outside the North for the first time last year with the launch of its London office, has also been strengthening its management team as it prepares for further growth. It plans to roll out a number of new locations and service lines and appoint an additional 20 partners by the end of 2020.

During the first half its Northern offices advised on deals including the Business Growth Fund’s investment in Operam Education to support its buy and build strategy in the recruitment sector; the BIMBO of laundry and cleaning product manufacturer Star Brands backed by Mobeus Equity Partners; Mercia’s investement in Quick Reach; and the MBO of Perfect Image backed by Chiltern Capital.

The firm also appointed former Deloitte high flyer Nicole Burstow as group Finance Director, and veteran City financier Richard Evans as Operations Director.

Dow Schofield Watts which provides ‘everything but audit’, now ranks as a top 75 accountancy firm with over 70 professionals across its three offices, most of them with backgrounds in ‘big four’ firms.

Roger Esler, head of the Yorkshire & North East office, said: “The progress of the firm in the first half of 2019 remains strong. Not only have we significantly increased the volume and value of deals for the third year in a row, but the launch of the London office has established Dow Schofield Watts as a leading national advisory firm. The significant availability of capital, both debt and equity, continues to support mid-market M&A activity.

“We hope to see further growth in the second half of 2019 as we continue to broaden our services, attract more high-calibre professionals and roll out the Dow Schofield Watts model to existing and new locations in the UK.”

Sophie Colloby, who heads the Transaction Services team in Yorkshire, said: Despite the uncertainty in the markets, we have seen a good flow of deals and, in particular, a lot of investment into the wider Yorkshire and North East region by local and national private equity.

“We have a full pipeline of deals for the summer months when the markets are normally quieter. We look forward to seeing what the second half of the year has in store.”


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