Wilkes Partnership advises on MBO of Lee Longlands

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The Corporate team at the Wilkes Partnership, led by Gareth O’Hara has advised on a Management buyout (MBO) for a historic £18m-turnover furniture retailer with stores across the Midlands & Oxfordshire.

Lee Longlands is a 107-strong family business that can trace its roots back to the early 20th century. It has stores in Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Derby, Cheltenham and Abingdon.

Its executive board of directors, comprising Darren Campo, Steve Tressler and Robert Lee, has acquired a 72 per cent stake as part of the MBO.

The trio will now have full control over group activities while the 28 per cent minority shareholders, made up of original family members, will have no input.

“This MBO ensures the retention of the leadership team and enables a more longer term strategic focus, which will ultimately help the business to achieve its aggressive growth targets,” said Darren Campo, financial director at Lee Longlands.

“This deal isn’t about change; it’s about protecting the core values of the business, which have been in existence since the company was formed over 100 years ago.

“It’s about continuing to put the customer first throughout the life-cycle of the buying experience, from initial contact with our sales team, right the way through to post-delivery care.  These are the values which the business was built upon and which we will continue to focus on.”

Gareth O’Hara, Partner and Head of the Corporate Team also comments, ‘We were delighted to be involved in the Management buyout (MBO) of such a well recognised Midlands Company such as Lee Longlands. Our aim is to build long term, trusted advisor relationships with our clients and we look forward to working with Darren and the team going forward.”

Darren Campo commented “This was an extremely important process for us and we needed a legal partner who would not only offer exceptional advice, but would also be sensitive in understanding the complexities of the internal family relationships. Wilkes and Gareth definitely delivered on both and I have no doubt they will be our legal partner of choice going forward.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland supported the deal, alongside Clement Keys, the Wilkes Partnership and Finance Birmingham.

For more information on how the team at the Wilkes Partnership can help your business, please contact Gareth O’Hara on 0121 233 4333