Palatine Private Equity, the mid-market private equity investor has acquired a significant minority shareholding in BK Plus, marking a pivotal moment in our rapid growth journey.
David Baldwin and Shaun Knight, former directors of the accountancy group Baldwins, embarked on their entrepreneurial journey with BK Plus in February 2021. Their extensive experience and expertise in acquiring, integrating and growing accountancy firms, accumulated over years of dedicated service, laid the groundwork for the remarkable success BK Plus has achieved in just over two years.
In this short time, we have established a strong presence having completed 12 acquisitions, with over 10 offices and approaching 300 staff. Initially focusing on our roots in the Midlands, with offices in Blackheath, Bromsgrove, Dudley, Solihull, Uttoxeter, Warwick, and Wolverhampton. We have recently extended our footprint across the UK, with offices in locations including Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Halifax, Oldham, and Stoke.
Palatine was established in 2005 as one of the first private equity houses headquartered outside of London. Over the subsequent 18 years, the business has grown into a leading force in the UK private equity market. BK Plus will benefit from Palatine’s expertise in strategic buy and build and its industry-leading approach to sustainability which has seen it place environmental, social and governance factors as central to its value enhancement strategy for more than a decade.
Shaun Knight, CEO of BK Plus commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Palatine, who we chose as they shared our ambition, philosophy, values and passion to deliver high-quality professional services to the SME sector – delivering locally, to local businesses, by local people with the support of the wider infrastructure.”
“There is unprecedented opportunity within the accounting sector to acquire with like-minded firms across the country. Our growth to date demonstrates this, along with a significant pipeline of opportunity. Localness is the key to our core principles which mirrors Palatine’s structure and this was key to our decision in choosing them.”
“We could not have achieved what we have done to date without our exceptional management team and staff, this ensures we have a legacy and infrastructure for them to take forward into the future. I would like to thank Deepak Parekh of Shawbrook for pulling together a unique tailored debt package that will enable us to continue to rollout our growth strategy nationally. We also had great support and advice throughout from Nick Dawson and the team at Irwin Mitchell – a great testament of Birmingham professionals delivering yet again.”
Richard Thomas, partner and head of Palatine’s midlands team, said: “We are delighted to be backing such an experienced and ambitious team, particularly in terms of their ability to scale an accountancy group via acquisition and organic growth. BK Plus’s focus on client service to the SME market via a regional model means they are well-positioned to provide the support required to existing and new clients.”
As part of the transaction, Mike Ward is being appointed Chairman. Mike brings with him a wealth of experience in the professional services sector as well as expertise in buy and build strategies having been CEO of Gateley PLC
Shaun Knight said “We are delighted to have Mike on board with his undoubted experience in the wider professional services market that will ensure we deliver on a broader spectrum of professional services to our client base”
As we continue with our expansion, the emphasis remains on the importance of local services. The belief that local individuals are best positioned to serve local businesses is at the heart of our operations. With the backing of Palatine Private Equity, we are set to further our mission of providing local services to local people, all while being supported by a proactive and aligned group.
Palatine was advised by RSM (Tax), Cortus (FDD), RPL (CDD), Partners& (Insurance), Cyberfort (Cyber Security), Gateley (legals)and Fluid IT (ITDD).
Other advisers on the deal included Clearwater, Trevor Foster (Management) and Eversheds (Banking Legals).