Alantra advised Graphite Capital on £72m buy-out of YSC Consulting

SECTORBusiness Services


Oct 2017
Buy-side advisory

Alantra has advised Graphite Capital on the £72 million management buy-out of YSC Consulting, an independent global provider of leadership strategy consultancy services. Headquartered in Soho, London, YSC Consulting operates from 17 offices in Europe, North America, South Africa and Asia-Pacific. YSC has 220 employees and has built a large and diverse blue-chip customer base of more than 400 organisations of which almost 60 per cent are in the FTSE 250 or Fortune 500. Its global clients include Qantas, HSBC, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Tesco, BHP and BP. The global leadership development market is estimated to be worth £1.8 billion, growing at 10 per cent per annum. Underpinned by the quality, breadth and global reach of its services, YSC Consulting has created a track record of sustained organic growth, with high levels of repeat revenues. A large proportion of its new client wins come from referrals. This is the 23rd transaction that Alantra has advised on this year.

Alantra’s team included Richard Holden, Claire Carpenter and Richard Benyahia. Richard Holden, partner at Alantra Corporate Finance who led the deal commented: “YSC has a fantastic track record in the leadership and assessment market, and is the only remaining specialist independent delivering these services globally. This gives them a unique market position and the opportunity to achieve a differentiated growth plan in the sector, which is underpinned by the increasing importance that global corporates give to curating their future leadership. We are pleased to have advised on this investment from Graphite Capital which will support the business in further capitalising on its success in the US and wider international markets.” Graphite acquired YSC Consulting from Livingbridge after a competitive tender process.

The YSC Consulting management team, under chief executive officer Robert Sharrock, have reinvested a large proportion of their sale proceeds and will remain in place. Lloyds and HSBC provided senior debt for the transaction. Robert Sharrock commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Graphite who were our first choice as backer. Their track record of working with professional services firms is impressive and their experience in supporting them to expand internationally is highly relevant to our growth strategy.” Graphite senior partner Mike Tilbury added: “YSC Consulting is a global leader in its field. It has an excellent reputation for the quality of its work, the professionalism of its people and its focus on innovation. The talented management team has a clear vision for future growth and we look forward to working with them in the next stage of YSC’s development.”

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