North East Connected

Experienced management team acquire a majority shareholding in specialist veterinary recruiter

RG Corporate Finance has advised on a vendor-initiated Management Buy Out at specialist veterinary recruitment business, Liberty Vets Recruitment.


The current 100% shareholder has sold an 80 percent stake in the Exeter-based business to its management team, Laura Mould, Colin Durbin, Sam Wilkinson and Emma Liddon.


Established in 2013, the business provides recruitment services to the UK veterinary market, placing both locum staff on a temporary and contract basis and permanent veterinary surgeons and nurses to practices across Britain.


Liberty Vets Recruitment has enjoyed growth in its first five years in business.  Turnover for its 2018 financial year has grown to circa £4.6m, an increase of around 26 percent compared with 2016, which has been attributed to the results delivered by additional fee-earning consultants in that period.


The Management Buy Out (MBO) will enable the four-strong management team to benefit from the growth they are delivering, while further expanding the company’s market presence in the medium to long term.


Liberty Vets is backed by recruitment incubation and support business SSG, which provides support services including legal, accounting, payroll and creative branding, to recruitment companies.  It has helped launch more than 300 recruitment businesses across 41 sectors.


With more than 15 years’ experience supporting recruitment firms, SSG has been instrumental in the launch and growth of Liberty Vets Recruitment and will continue to provide services to the business to enable its management team to focus on delivering future growth.


Advising on the sale of an 80 percent shareholding in the business was RG Corporate Finance partner Carl Swansbury and Corporate Finance executive Adam Cassidy.  Tax advice has been provided by RG’s Corporate Tax partner Simon Whiteside with legal advice coming from Newcastle-based Ward Hadaway, led by Corporate Partner, Tom Pollard.


The MBO Team was been advised by Simon Porter from Machins Solicitors LLP. Funding for the MBO has been provided by AIB, led by Kevin Goodall, with Haines Watts undertaking financial due diligence on behalf of the bank.


Laura Mould said: “The veterinary recruitment expertise that exists in the business has enabled it to establish a strong and trusted position in the market, which I am confident the management team will continue to build upon.  We have the experience and entrepreneurial drive to further put our stamp on the business, using the resources procured from SSG, to focus on enhancing its relationships with candidates and veterinary practices across the country.”


Colin Durbin said: “Working with SSG to establish and grow Liberty Vets Recruitment has been a great experience and the management team is very proud to have been given the opportunity to acquire a majority stake in the business.  We are very pleased that the vendor retains a shareholding in the business as his input and support is invaluable as we deliver upon our long-term growth strategies.”


Carl Swansbury, RG Corporate Finance partner, said: “Initiating the MBO process, as the business owner, demonstrates the exiting shareholders’ confidence in the Liberty Vets Recruitment’s management team and their ability to drive the business forward.  His entrepreneurial flair and recruitment industry expertise has been instrumental in transforming a start-up enterprise into a business with scale-up ambitions, which presents a great opportunity for the management team.”

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