IT and digital transformation consultancy Leading Resolutions sold to management team in MBO

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The shareholders of an IT and digital transformation consultancy that works with globally recognised companies and PLCs including easyJet, the AA and Currys, say they are delighted to have been able to sell the company to their senior management team.

Jeff Motto and Israr Chaudry, who founded Leading Resolutions Limited 21 years ago, wanted to ensure the highly successful business was in safe hands when they retired, and well positioned to continue growing.Leading Resolutions chief executive officer Pete Smyth and chief operating officer Sheila Bryant led the management buyout (MBO). Motto and Chaudry approached Northampton-based corporate finance specialists Watersheds in 2020 to help them with succession and exit planning and, after extensive preparatory work following the pandemic, Watersheds suggested a potential management buyout backed by private equity as an optimum exit route.Shareholder Jeff Motto said:“We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved at Leading Resolutions over the past 21 years and decided that now is the right time to make this decision. Choosing the right partner to support such an important step in our personal and company’s life was essential. We engaged Watersheds because we were confident the outcome we wanted would be achieved and we could rely on them to deliver the results.“When it seemed that international M&A activities were going to be depressed during a time of economic uncertainty, we benefitted from Watersheds’ broader view of the market and advice. Through the strength of its relationships with its network and the tenacity in pursuing strong interest in the business, we feel we have arrived at the best outcome.“Watersheds’ experience in structuring, negotiation and managing the process ensured all goals were aligned, which meant that the management team’s experience of fundraising was ‘right first time’, maintaining momentum and goodwill between all parties. We are delighted to have been supported by Watersheds through this journey.“It has also been a privilege to work with such a talented and dedicated management team and we are confident that the company is in great hands under the leadership of Pete Smyth and Sheila Bryant, and a terrific management team, and we wish them and their backers NVM every success in the future.”

Watersheds partner Wendy Lam said that business owners are often unaware of the potential of their own management team to acquire the company and particularly how to go about financing it.“One of the ways we can add value to a succession plan is by bringing potential private equity firms to the table, while advising the owners on how to get their business ‘sale ready’ so there is the confidence to invest,” said Wendy Lam.“Understandably, running a successful MBO with private equity backing can be difficult and overwhelming for anyone without extensive experience. We were glad to help in navigating through the sometimes-difficult path of balancing the needs of the shareholders, the management team and NVM and manage the entire process from start to finish. The final outcome is a win-win for all parties, and Leading Resolutions has a very promising future ahead.”NVM Private Equity invested in Leading Resolutions, and legal advisors were Gardner Leader and HCR.

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