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Birkett Long LLP Assists Vantage Market Entry on Management Buyout

Further to an introduction from Forward Corporate Finance, Birkett Long LLP is delighted to have assisted Mark Shields, the majority owner of recruitment business Vantage Market Entry, on selling a stake to his management team. The transaction sees key partners in the business Patrick Sim and Jack Knowles take meaningful stakes in the business, enables two other team members to secure a minority stake, with founder Mark retaining an equity position and continuing to be fully committed to the business going forwards.

The deal also paves the way for new partners to take a stake in the business in the future, either from within, or from similar search businesses based in the USA, Europe or the Middle East.

Based in Kensington, London, Vantage Market Entry specialises in the movement of senior executives and teams between leading global firms in Management Consulting, Private Equity, and Corporate marketplaces, with a focus on the US market.

The business was founded in 2001 by Mark Shields following the sale of a majority stake in his previous company, Corporate Executive Search, which in 1998 was the first head-hunter to float on the London Stock Exchange. With extensive experience as a leading recruiter of senior executives for market leading firms, Mark, with the support of Patrick and the wider team, has built Vantage into the well-respected and dynamic recruitment company it is today.

Mark Shields commented that “Tracey was great, she was committed to providing pragmatic advice throughout, being quick to address any concerns and find robust solutions. She produced high quality documentation from the start, which identified and managed the intricacies of the structure, and how that all pieced together, in an efficient and timely manner. Tracey was attentive and responsive throughout, and proved to be the ideal legal advisor to assist me in getting us to completion along with Forward and the other advisors.”

Tracey Dickens added that “We were delighted to get the opportunity to work alongside Rob Dukelow-Smith and Will Neil from Forward Corporate Finance, who advised Mark on the deal structure, and to be instructed by Mark to advise on the legal aspects of the transaction and prepare and negotiate the documentation. This involved interpreting and putting into effect some clever arrangements from Forward and finding solutions to matters that arose to bring into effect the MBO.”

Legal advice for the management team was provided by Mark Stigwood at Attwaters, with tax advice from James Boustead at Rickard Luckin and David Richardson at Croucher Needham.