Bucknall Austin managers in £2.2 million fundraising


70 of Bucknall Austin’s key management have put together a £2.2 million fundraising package to enable the company to establish a firm financial base from which to achieve its strategy.

Bucknall Austin was bought by its former owner, David Bucknall, from Citex in February this year.

The Birmingham-based construction and property consultancy was founded by David Bucknall’s father in 1947 and has traded as Citex since a Buy-In Management Buy-Out (BIMBO) in 1998 from the now de-listed Bucknall Group plc.

David Bucknall, who took on the full-time roll of chairman, says the principal funding has been raised by 20 senior managers led by chief executive, John Morgan, supported by a further 50 managers and has given them all the opportunity to take a stake in the business as it moves forward.

“This is a unique deal as it’s the management who are providing all the equity funding. This fundraising widens the shareholding and enables a considerable number of the management to play a real role in our business – a business they firmly believe in. All employees will have the opportunity to purchase shares and we believe that the wide share ownership is the ideal structure for people businesses.”

Advising Bucknall Austin on the deal were Phil Burns and Karen Edwards of Clearwater Corporate Finance plc, in what is their first deal since their re-branding from CLEARWATER Corporate Finance plc last week.

Phil Burns, head of Clearwater in the Midlands said; “This has been a complex and interesting deal to put together with the managers – it’s unusual to work with 70 clients all at the same time. And they are in effect putting their money where their mouth is!

“We also advised on the MBO in February and this subsequent deal enables this owner-managed business to secure financing for the ongoing future of the business. Bucknall Austin has gone from strength to strength since February and this is a very exciting time for them.”

Bucknall’s father, Charles, a part-time Football League referee, started the business from nothing from a small office in Guildhall Buildings. He advised the War Damage Commission on the cost of replacing Birmingham’s buildings and factories.

In the past Bucknall Austin has been involved with the construction of the International Convention Centre and the Hyatt Hotel. It has also been involved with Hong Kong Airport and Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

With annual sales of £18 million, recent work has included Cost Management and QS on Millennium Point on behalf of its owners and advising leisure retailer Mitchells & Butlers on its move to a new purpose built headquarters building. It has also undertaken work for DEFRA nationally and a minimum six year commission with Tower Hamlets.

Bucknall Austin has ongoing contracts with many blue chip clients including the MOD, Sainsburys, DEFRA, HSBC, Mitchells & Butlers, Arlington Securities, Intercontinental Hotels Group, HM Prisons, BNFL, British Aerospace and Brixton Estates.

David Bucknall added; “Clearwater started to advise us back in May 2002 and it’s been good to have their ongoing support to pull this deal together.”

Simon Gill of Gateley Wareing in Birmingham advised the management. The Royal Bank of Scotland provided working capital facilities.