Langcliffe International Becomes Employee Owned

Langcliffe International, Europe’s leading mergers & acquisitions buy-side deal originator, has become employee owned in a transaction organised by Azets.

Langcliffe based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire was set up in 2012 by Mark Eardley (Managing Director) and Helen Postlethwaite (Commercial Director). The business employs 17 professionals and a further 5 consultants. It has grown rapidly in recent years across Europe capitalising on unrivalled relationships with vendor advisors, corporates and private equity firms. The company introduces acquisition opportunities in a value range between £3m and £100m.

The business attributes its continuing success to the trust it has developed with its vendor advisors, its unique model backed by bespoke operating systems and rapid growth in Europe from where it currently generates in excess of 50 per cent of its revenue. Further growth will come from developing in the US and Asia.

Mark Eardley, the Managing Director is transferring 73% of his shares to the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Under the move, all employees will benefit financially from the future success of the company and Mark Eardley and Helen Postlethwaite will stay in the business. The EOT Board will comprise Helen Postlethwaite, Chairman, Mark Eardley and Langcliffe’s four Managers, Poppy Briggs ( Europe ), Maryia Amrez ( Private Equity ) , Joanna Hughes ( Corporates) and Holly Cooper ( Vendor Advisors ).

Helen Postlethwaite commented “We have deliberately adopted a policy of growing our own talent and empowering our staff to make decisions themselves. A lot of our success is based on their ability, loyalty, and understanding and advocation of our systems which are critical”.

Mark Eardley said: “Selling the company to our employees through the creation of the EOT ensures the stability of the business for the long-term and supports our desire for further international growth. This move recognises the value that our fantastic team has delivered over the years, and it is a very exciting opportunity for each individual to take a pivotal role as the business progresses. Creating a great place to work is fundamental to our business principles, and we’re very excited about the next stage of the journey.”

Langcliffe International was advised by Tariq Javaid, Corporate Finance Partner, Richard Weston, Corporate Finance Manager and Karen Sadler, Senior Tax Manager at Azets. Jonathan Simms and Kaira Clarehugh at Clarion provided legal advice.

Tariq Javaid, Corporate Finance Partner at Azets said: “Langcliffe International is a business exceptionally well-suited for employee ownership, being an organisation with a strong culture, firmly established values, and an emphasis on the quality of its people. It has been a privilege to work with Mark, Helen, and the team in assisting them with this transition and I am confident that the company has a bright future as an employee-owned business”.

‘’Azets advised on 6 EOTs in Yorkshire in 2022 and we’ve already got several more in the pipeline this year. They are an increasingly popular option for the transition of ownership, given the wide range of benefits they can provide to the business, its owners and employees.”

Employee-ownership grows – Langcliffe International joins many well-known firms such as John Lewis, Richer Sounds, and ‘Tiptree’ preserve maker Wilkin & Sons in becoming employee owned. The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) says more than 1200 businesses have now adopted employee ownership and the sector has more than doubled in the past three years.

Recent converts include Go Ape, the treetop adventure company, Riverford, the organic vegetable box company and Aardman, the Bristol-based animation studio behind Wallace & Gromit.