Alantra advises AAB on its investment from August Equity to fast-track growth plans
Alantra, the independent global mid-market investment banking firm, has advised Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), the tech-enabled business critical services group, on its significant investment from August Equity to fast-track ambitious growth plans and realise AAB’s strategic vision of becoming a key UK regional player in the accountancy and wider business services market.
AAB’s team of over 350 across the Central Belt of Scotland provides a highly complementary portfolio of business services including audit, accounting, tax, payroll, HR, consulting, wealth and corporate finance. The group supports a wide range of SME and enterprise clients, with a strong exposure to the energy, technology, business services, public and not for profit, food and drink and property and construction sectors. AAB also has a London office focused on payroll/global mobility and virtual finance which supports some of the group’s largest UK and international clients.
The partnership with August will facilitate considerable investment in people, as well as allowing AAB to invest further in technology following the doubling of spend in this area during 2021. It will also provide significant firepower for AAB to pursue M&A opportunities across the UK. The partnership will enable AAB to continue to build on the momentum already created this year following the merger with Glasgow-based accountancy firm Hardie Caldwell and the acquisition of Edinburgh-based Purpose HR.
The Alantra team advising AAB comprised Richard Holden, Josh Jones, Harry Sparks and Harry Caro. This transaction is the latest in a series for Alantra’s Business Services team, which has completed 20 deals so far in 2021. Alantra has a strong track record of advising high calibre businesses within the professional services sector; recent deals have included advising Foster + Partners on its strategic partnership with Hennick & Company, Zanders on its investment from MML to support future growth, and Tenzing on its investment into Jeffreys Henry.
Richard Holden, Partner and UK Head of Business Services at Alantra, commented: “We’re pleased to have found AAB exactly the right partner in August Equity to support its growth trajectory and capitalise on the huge opportunity to create a forward-thinking firm of the future. AAB has struck the right balance between tech-enabled scalable growth in critical services and having a strong culture that binds the business together, unlike many of the historical consolidators in the accountancy sector.”
Graeme Allan, Chief Executive of AAB, said: “We are enjoying a fantastic period of growth but see so many opportunities to invest more heavily to fast-track this. August Equity’s investment will be instrumental in helping us build a high-quality regional business services group across the UK. They are also a great cultural fit and are as excited about our partnership and the future as we are.
As we grow, we will remain committed to investing and developing our people and of course, clients will benefit as we expand our portfolio of tech-enabled services for the SME and enterprise markets. We will work closely with August as we actively seek M&A opportunities with a particular focus on partnering with firms that adopt a similar ethos to us driven by a passion for helping people (staff and clients alike) achieve their goals. This model will establish a wide equity ownership whilst maintaining the opportunity for real partner progression for the future leadership of the group.”
David Lonsdale, Partner at August Equity, added: “We are delighted to be investing in AAB and we are excited to be working with Graeme and the team. We look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of AAB and build a leading tech-enabled, business critical services group which is highly differentiated in the market.”