Award-winning technology consultancy firm Griffiths Waite has been sold to an employee ownership trust (EOT) in a deal led by the transactions tax team at PKF Smith Cooper.

Our client

Griffiths Waite was co-founded by Mark Waite in 1994, starting out as an IT services provider, developing bespoke applications for its UK corporate client base. In recent years, the success of the business has allowed it to diversify its service offering, providing the platform for its evolution into the digital product development business that exists today.

How we helped

The EOT concept was born out of a government-backed initiative, designed to promote employee ownership, by giving all employees a significant and meaningful indirect stake in the business, including a say in how it is run.

The PKF team was led by Tax Partner Adam Rollason, who provided tax structuring advice on the deal, and sell-side tax support to each of the selling shareholders.

Other advisers on the transaction included Caroline Dodds (CFO Centre) who provided strategic financial advice to the shareholders, and Legal Clarity (a team led by Jane Jevon) who provided buy-side legal advice to the trustees of the EOT.

What our client had to say

Mark Waite commented: “Prioritising the needs of our employees, whilst securing the long-term future of the business, has always been of the utmost importance to me. I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to achieve over the past 30 years, but it is time to start looking ahead to the next chapter, and I believe that this transaction sets us up nicely for that.”

The first-class advice and support we received from Adam and his team at PKF were instrumental in getting this transaction done, in fact, we have already recommended the team to others within the industry.

Mark Waite, co-founder of Griffiths Waite

The result

Adam Rollason commented: “I was delighted to advise Mark and his fellow shareholders on this transaction. From the first meeting we had, it was clear to me that an EOT was the right option for all parties, and I am proud to be a small part of the transition to the new structure.”

The completion of this deal comes at a particularly busy time for PKF’s Birmingham office, with the transactional tax and corporate finance teams having completed four deals in the last four weeks.

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