The sale of health and safety consultancy Comply at Work
Hilton Smythe is delighted to announce the sale of Manchester-based health and safety consultancy Comply at Work in a deal worth several hundred thousands of pounds – to Adam Wade, Director of AW Safety Management Ltd.
Comply at Work presented a lucrative opportunity for prospective buyers, with an excellent EBITDA margin, a large share of revenue derived from retained clients, and a broad range of services. Health and Safety Consulting is also a resilient industry, where custom is driven by safety legislation such as the UK’s Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Seeking to finance her retirement, the shareholder engaged the services of M&A specialists Hilton Smythe in 2022, whose expert in-house valuations, marketing, research, and deals teams brought the company to market with an aspirational value.
As part of the outreach program to find potential buyers, Hilton Smythe formed a relationship with Adam Wade, Director of well-established H&S consulting firm AW Safety Management.
AW Safety Management already offered the full gamut of H&S consultancy services with two offices in Nottinghamshire and Brampton. However, in light of the challenges associated with organic growth, Hilton Smythe offered an opportunity for the company to reach the Greater Manchester and Lancashire market with the acquisition of Comply at Work.
Katie Holt, Deal Executive, who has a decade of experience in advising on SME dealmaking, oversaw the acquisition, steering the deal through to completion.
“Business mergers and acquisitions are always a delicate process: the prospective buyer needs to be assured that the target company aligns with their growth plans and can be integrated into existing operations.
“There is then the delicate process of negotiating sale prices, taking into account purchase criteria, market comparable (what kind of EBITDA multiples are common in the market for similar companies), and the owner’s expectations.
“There is then the due diligence phase and the closing phase, involving drawing up transaction agreements, legal opinions, consideration such as stock or cash, etc.
“With all this in mind, it was a delight to work with Ms Scott and Mr Wade on this deal,” she said.
“And Ms. Scott, the retiring shareholder of Comply at Work, was very happy with the choice of AW Safety Management as the new custodian of the company.”
Adam Wade said: “Hilton Smythe are a great team who were easy to work with. They demonstrated good open lines of communication and worked hard to ensure that a smooth transition was achieved.”