Wilkes Celebrates Pivotal Role in Now Education’s Management Buyout

Wilkes proudly announces its integral role acting for the exiting sellers in the strategic management buyout of Now Education, a leading UK supplier of staff for primary, secondary, and SEND schools across England and Wales. This milestone further solidifies Wilkes’ enduring partnership with Gary Redman since the inception of Now Education.

The deal, which has been supported with institutional investment of £14m from Prefequity LLP, values the business at £28m.

Founded in 2010, Now Education supplies around 1,600 supply staff to more than 800 schools per week across England and Wales. It recruits in more than 20 regions and has permanent offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Lincoln, Liverpool, London and Nottingham. Comprising a team of nearly 40 consultants and ten back-office support staff, 95% of its business is from contract revenue with more than 75% of placements six weeks in length or longer.

Gareth O`Hara, Senior Partner and head of Wilkes Corporate team said,

“We’re pleased to have guided Gary through this pivotal deal which marks another milestone in our long-standing partnership that has been in place since Now Education’s inception. We remain committed to reinforcing our values of collaborating for success.”

Gary Redman, Vendor and new Chair, Now Education, said,

“I am delighted that we have completed the MBO, working with a group of advisers and investors to achieve what is a highly successful outcome for all parties”

Of Wilkes, Gary said,

“I have worked with most of the departments of Wilkes over the years being introduced many years ago by David Cleary, most recently I worked with Gareth O’Hara and his Team on the sale of my Education Recruitment Business to the Management Team, with rather a complex structure Gareth and Helen Smart made the process streamlined for me taking away the stress and pressure of such an important transaction after 30 years of being in business it means a great deal to me and my family, they made this happen.”

Gareth O’Hara was supported by Senior Associate Solicitor, Helen Smart, and Solicitor Christie Nelson, in this transaction.

Corporate finance advice was provided by Shaw & Co.

Rob Starr, Partner – M&A, Shaw & Co, said,

This deal has provided the ideal outcome for all stakeholders. With Alex at the helm and significant backing from Prefequity, the company has the strongest of foundations for its next stage of growth. Gary, meanwhile, will be able to enjoy the rewards of his many years of hard work while also playing an important role in taking the business forward.

Johnny Carew-Pole, Partner, Prefequity LLP, said,

We are delighted that Prefequity’s flexible capital will support Alex and team in their management buyout and also fuel Now Education’s continued growth. Now’s business model allows it to attract and retain exceptional talent, enabling it to deliver excellent value and service for schools, as a result, Now is well-positioned to cement its place as a leading player in the market.

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