Clearwater Corporate Finance plays principal role in school supplies company MBO


Nottingham-based Technology Teaching Systems Limited has been sold for an undisclosed sum to its management team of Raymond Griffiths, Ray Woods and Peter Ellse.

Playing the lead role in drawing the transaction together was the Nottingham office of Clearwater Corporate Finance (Clearwater), who have been business advisors to the company for several years. Their team working on the deal included Paul Newell and Dan Bowtell.

The business, which supplies specialised curriculum resources to schools in the UK, was set-up in 1985 by vendors John and Hazel Williams and has built up a reputation in the industry for innovative, focused products backed up with efficient service.

Today it supplies a wide range of subject areas to both primary and secondary schools with the management team being instrumental in extending the subject range from four to ten. The range now includes Design and Technology, Science, Maths, English, Citizenship, History, Geography, RE and Information Communications Technology.

The company recently moved its operations from premises in Alfreton, Derbyshire, to larger 20,000 sq ft freehold premises at Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire in order to accommodate future expansion.

Under the new board structure Raymond Griffiths becomes managing director with Ray Woods and Peter Ellse retaining their positions as financial director and marketing director respectively.

Comments Raymond Griffiths: “This is a new, exciting chapter for TTS, its customers and suppliers and we are all looking forward to meeting the challenge over the coming months and years. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years and helped get TTS to where we are today”.

Peter Ellse adds: “School supply is an exciting and rewarding market to be part of. Schools like what we do and we are determined to repay that trust by listening and working harder than our competitors”.

Clearwater says: “This represents an excellent opportunity for the management team to continue its exciting plans for the business and consolidate its position as a leading supplier to schools. The MBO reflects the hard work which the team and the vendor have put into the business in order to expand it to its current position”.

Funding for the deal was provided by Fortis Bank Acquisition Finance of Nottingham led by Sue Varley and Ian Howey. Sue Varley comments: “We were delighted to be able to deliver a funding package to enable the management team to acquire the business and leave them well placed to grow it going forward. The Company is in a solid and stable sector and has an enviable market position”.

Financial due diligence was undertaken by KPMG, Nottingham. The lawyers involved in the deal were: Wragge & Co, who represented the MBO team, led by Andrew Lawton Smith and Adrian Rushton; Mark Rutherford at Edwards Geldard advised the vendors; and Eversheds – Stephen Kitts and Katy Johansen acted for Fortis Bank.