News Archive

Price Bailey’s news archives present a timeline of our Press Releases over recent years.

Demonstrating our growth and success as a company, our collection of articles exemplify why Price
Bailey is recognised as an award-winning accountancy and business advisory firm and how we have
shared our success with our clients.

Our archives also document our data led PR; produced in collaboration with our research and
insights colleagues to communicate proprietary industry and economic insights on topics relevant to
our audiences and national interest.

We have collated our internal promotions, career opportunities, company accolades, data led
insights, acquisitions and advisory success, as well as keeping our clients updated on our
partnerships within the local communities and the charities we have supported through our
fundraising efforts. Price Bailey pride ourselves on the service that we provide our clients and the
local communities through our people and advice.

Should you wish to find out more about PR at Price Bailey, discuss any topics within the news
archives or for PR enquiries, please contact our Media and PR representative Eleanor Lodge.


13th March: Commonwealth Day 2023: The Commonwealth Advantage

Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration observed throughout the commonwealth, with this year especially noteworthy as it marks the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter.

As Price Bailey approaches its first year as a member of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Simon Blake, Partner at Price Bailey, reflects:

“Having joined the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council a year ago, I’ve had the opportunity to witness first-hand the benefit and opportunities available for businesses within the organisation.

“As Britain continues to adjust to post Brexit trade and business, the Commonwealth provides an abundance of economic opportunities. From access to a population of 2.4 billion of which 60 per cent are under 30 years old, the Commonwealth represents a billion middle-class consumers. Through to the Commonwealth Advantage, which offer an average 21 percent lower bilateral costs for trading partners throughout the 56 strong association of countries.

“The Commonwealth is also an advocate for climate change and sustainability, offering greater international opportunity for conversations around this growing issue.

“Thirty-one of the Commonwealth’s members are small states, and 23 are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are among the most vulnerable to the impact of climate change or developmental challenges

“With upcoming conferences in Singapore, Rwanda and the Commonwealth Forum, which will see 16,000 people from across the Commonwealth come together, Price Bailey’s involvement with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council has opened channels to greater international relationships and prospects.

“The Commonwealth offers a direct line to businesses built on shared values and access to fast growing economic markets such as those seen in Africa.

“Price Bailey was recently appointed by a new client in Africa looking to list in the UK and this was a direct result of our involvement with the Commonwealth association.”


1st October: Price Bailey has announced six senior-level promotions

Price Bailey has announced six senior-level promotions this month as the firm continues to invest in its future.

Price Bailey, a top 30 chartered accounting and advisory practice, has appointed two new directors, Steve Butcher and and Michael Morter, both in the Tax team and four senior managers, Stella Anthanasiadou in the Corporate team, Seb Humberston in the Strategic Corporate Finance team, James Elvin in the Business team and Charlotte Page in the Tax team. These senior-level appointments follow two new partner promotions and five other senior-level promotions earlier in the year.

Commenting on this round of promotions, Martin Clapson, Managing Director, said:

“We are delighted to celebrate all the promotions across the firm effective 1 October, in particular the achievement of the following people in reaching a key milestone in their careers. We are particularly proud of the five individuals who joined as Price Bailey trainees.

These promotions demonstrate that career progression can be achieved either by joining Price Bailey part way through your career or as part of our Stepstone trainee programme. Together with the ability to smart work at every level of the firm, exampled by our previous senior promotions, we are pleased that people continue to choose Price Bailey as being their great place to work.”


Steve Butcher – Director

Steve joined our Corporate team as a trainee in 2003, qualifying ACCA in 2006. He then became CTA qualified and transferred to our Tax Team in 2014, becoming an Authorised Tax Expert in 2018. He is consulted regularly in his areas of expertise, particularly with share incentives. He leads technical tax advisory projects and assists our corporate and business teams with compliance. In addition, he is actively supporting the growth of the Norwich corporate tax team by developing additional tax advisory opportunities. Steve enjoys cooking, heavy metal, keeping fit, time with friends, and outdoor activities with his family outside of work.

Michael Morter – Director

Michael is a personal tax specialist within the Tax Team and joined the firm in July 2017 as a Manager, moving from Larking Gowen. He provides tax return services to an extensive portfolio of clients, including individuals and trusts, and tax advisory services to clients across the firm. Whilst predominately based in Norwich, he works with clients across all our locations. Michael is a keen traveller, having visited 30 countries, and he and his wife live near Norwich.

Stella Anthanasiadou – Senior Manager

Stella joined as a trainee in 2015. Since qualifying in 2017, she quickly progressed to becoming a manager in 2021. She has experience working with a broad range of commercial companies, charities, membership organisations and entities within the not-for-profit sector. Her portfolio also includes several PLC clients, one being the UK’s largest angling retailer. Outside of work, Stella enjoys football and travelling.



Seb Humberston – Senior Manager

Seb joined as a trainee in 2012, moving into the Corporate Finance team in 2014. He heads up the firm’s Financial Due Diligence offering and is involved in all the department’s service offerings. He has significant experience advising on Management BuyOuts, Buy and Sell-side leads advisory support, valuation work, financial projections, and debt and equity fundraising.

He has recently helped to support the team in delivering a significant volume of FDD work and continues to help grow and develop this service offering. Outside work, Seb is a keen runner and an occasional golfer and balances all this with a young family.

James Elvin – Senior Manager

Jimmy joined the firm in 1998 as a trainee. He now leads the Norwich Business Team and actively collaborates with our other offices. He is focused on encouraging staff to develop smoother working practices, including sharing resources with Cambridge. He also provides the Business Team guidance on SEIS treatment in accounts and tax returns and has rolled out team-wide advice on Wiki Staff Skills. Outside of work, Jimmy is a very keen Norwich City football fan.

Charlotte Page – Senior Manager

Charlotte joined as a tax trainee in April 2016. She specialises in providing direct and indirect tax advice and regularly assists the corporate and business teams with their VAT and tax questions. Additionally, she works on various complex advisory projects, including corporate reconstructions, sale and purchase transactions, property and construction matters, employee share schemes, research and development and patent box claims.

Having previously completed a PhD in mathematics, Charlotte still enjoys maths and logic puzzles and reading a good book in the garden.

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8th September: A tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth from Price Bailey

Since Price Bailey was founded, we have operated within a changing world with many different economic, political and social issues. Throughout this, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has been a constant beacon for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and her public service has been an inspiration to many generations.

While many of us will mourn the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, we should also be grateful to have witnessed the UK’s longest-reigning monarch, and we should celebrate her achievements over the last 70 years since her accession to the throne.

In her life, Her Majesty has visited hundreds of countries, conducted many public engagements and met thousands of people from around the world. During this, she has had to meet and overcome some huge challenges along the way, none more so than the death of her beloved husband, HRH Prince Philip.

However, despite all this, she always set an exemplary display of resilience, humility and dignity, as well as having an extraordinary ability to unite so many friends, families and communities together even during the most challenging of times.

Of course, this is also a time for us to reflect on our own lives and remember our loved ones who are no longer with us.

Our people, who choose to, can take some time to reflect on this sad news and so responses to enquiries may be slower than usual.

Please hold those you love dearly close by and remember what is important in life.

Martin Clapson – On behalf of Price Bailey

24th June: Price Bailey showcases career opportunities at Cambridgeshire County Day.

The county’s first Cambridgeshire County Day was held to celebrate her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and showed off the best parts our county has to offer.

Price Bailey sponsored the event and used it as an opportunity to connect with school leavers and showcase the wide variety of career opportunities available at the firm.

The firm expects to hire over 100 people in several disciplines over the next 12 months to help it realise its growth plans.

Price Bailey was recently officially recognised by the Best Companies survey 2022 as one of the best companies to work for in the UK, being described as ‘Outstanding’. Best Companies independently surveyed staff at Price Bailey across a wide range of workplace factors.

Price Bailey showcases career opportunities at Cambridgeshire County Day.

Commenting on the firm’s upcoming recruitment plans, Nadia Khan, a partner at Price Bailey who sits on the Board and oversees the firm’s HR function, said, “Our aim is to position ourselves as the employer of choice for those seeking a well-established and forward-thinking mid-tier firm.

In 2022, our people rated us as ‘outstanding to work for’. We were one of the first professional services firms to offer truly flexible working through our ‘smart working’ approach and can provide the opportunity to work with varied and entrepreneurial clients.

Together with giving people accountability and ownership, we regularly benchmark our salary and reward packages to ensure our propositions are competitive, if not market-leading. In addition, we’ve recently launched a new Wellbeing Agenda to ensure that our people’s mental and physical health is prioritised. Our approach is to continuously improve our strong people focus and ensure that our people are happy and well looked after.”

The event was held at the July Course at Newmarket Racecourse, and Price Bailey also sponsored the 15:10 Price Bailey Fillies’ Novice Stakes at Newmarket which was won by Midnight Moll, ridden by Kieran Shoemark and trained by Ed Walker. Price Bailey is a big supporter of Newmarket Racecourse and regularly attends meets.

Gary Fraer presenting trophy to jockey
The royal icing on the cake was the special appearance from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were greeted by cheers and met and chatted with many people attending the event.

The event was organised by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM. Commenting on the day, the Lord-Lieutenant said, “Cambridgeshire County Day is unique; it has never happened before and will never happen again in the same format. The day is filled with exciting showcases of the best of our county, and we want it to be accessible, relevant and engaging for everyone in the community. Young people will be given a platform to learn about, be inspired by and connect with the people and organisations that make this county so special.”

Price Bailey has several career opportunities and roles, from trainees to experienced people. For more information, you can visit our careers page or speak to the firm’s Talent Acquisition Manager, Duncan Crooks.

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3rd May: Price Bailey appoints new audit partner to support growth

Price Bailey has announced the appointment of Adam Norman as an Audit Partner in their Corporate team with effect from 3 May 2022. This brings the total number of partners in the firm to 29 across 11 offices.

Adam joins Price Bailey, having previously worked for a top 4 accountancy firm since 1998. Over those 24 years, Adam has specialised working with privately owned, venture capital-backed and private equity-owned businesses across a range of sectors including fast-growing tech companies, high-end fashion brands, and other privately-owned retail businesses; whilst also fulfilling internal secondments in training and strategy.

Pictured from left to right is Paul Cullen, Head of Corporate, Adam Norman, Audit Partner, Martin Clapson, Managing Director.


Adam will be based in their Cambridge office and has a strong, well-established professional network in the area. Adam leads and is a key member of “Pro Network”, of which Price Bailey is an active member.

Adam will work alongside Paul Cullen and the other corporate partners, strengthening the firm’s audit offering to its clients.

This appointment further enhances the partnership team at Price Bailey after the promotion of both Michael Cooper-Davis and Lewis Ratcliffe to Partner last month.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director at Price Bailey, commented on the appointment, saying, “I am delighted Adam is joining Price Bailey. We are very proud of our audit team offering and see Adam as a key person who will support our exponential growth. We have a clear strategy at Price Bailey and I am sure Adam will contribute fully to achieving our strategic objectives.”

Following his appointment, Adam Norman shared his thoughts on joining the firm adding “I am really pleased to be joining Price Bailey, which is a growing and exciting business that I have admired for a while. I look forward to helping them continue to have a positive impact on many businesses in the marketplace.”


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21st February: Price Bailey named 'Best Accountancy Firm to Work For'

Price Bailey has been named the ‘Best Accountancy Firm to Work For’ in the UK for Q1 2022 at the BestCompaniesLive event on 18 February. Price Bailey had already been officially recognised by the Best Companies survey 2022 as one of the best companies to work for in the UK, being described as ‘Outstanding’. Best Companies independently surveyed staff at Price Bailey across a wide range of workplace factors.

The firm was recognised at the BestCompaniesLive event, which was held virtually from MediaCityUK in Manchester and hosted by BBC’s Dan Walker.

Best companies live

During the day-long event, Price Bailey was also listed as one of the Top 25 Companies to Work For in the East of England and London, ranking 17th and 18th respectively, as well as ranking 41st best company to work for overall in the UK in the national listing.

Commenting on the accolades, Human Resources Partner Nadia Khan, who was pleased to see Price Bailey recognised this way, described the announcement as “exciting news” and paid tribute to the staff, thanking them for their efforts and saying the award was “a testament to all our people making Price Bailey such a great place to work.

The company was notably recognised for its family-friendly credentials and work-life balance. As well as the firm’s ‘Smart Working’ policy, which has been in place for several years, even before the pandemic, and enables staff to work flexibly, the company offers school hours contracts to all staff and enhanced maternity pay. A good work-life balance is vital at Price Bailey. Price Bailey added circuit-breaker days during the pandemic, giving its team extra time off to recognise their hard work and commitment. The firm’s IT systems were completely shut down to ensure everyone had a proper break from work.

The firm also excelled in staff retention, with over 40% of the workforce working there for more than five years. Staff retention is taken very seriously, and the firm has several schemes to ensure they retain the best talent.

Everyone at Price Bailey is invited to join the employee share scheme once they have completed 12 months of service; this gives them a stake in the business’s success and recognises the value of their contribution.

“We aim to be the best in the world at building trust and providing support that creates value to all.”

Price Bailey was founded in 1938 with one office in Bishop’s Stortford and a single partner. Today it has 30 partners, with locations in London and East Anglia, and a strategic international presence.

In recent years, Price Bailey has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Access Accountancy, aiming to broaden access to the accounting profession. The company’s PB Inspires initiative works with local schools to develop the next generation of employees from disadvantaged backgrounds; it also develops staff leadership skills.

Commenting on the firm’s culture, Martin Clapson, Managing Director, who, through choice, retained a client portfolio to ensure he maintains an understanding of how the firm’s systems and procedures said:

“We work within a culture that is open and inquisitive to new ideas, one that embraces change. We empower our people to challenge the norm and to look for opportunities. We want everyone to feel fulfilled in their role and to understand their contribution to the service we deliver to our clients.”

While Price Bailey takes its culture very seriously, that’s not to say Price Bailey’s senior leaders take life too seriously. Some can be found with their heads and hands in stocks on charity day, facing a barrage of wet sponges. Giving back to the community, the firm donated laptops to schools in 2021 and provided two paid leave days for employees to participate in voluntary work.

Charities day image

Recently the firm also celebrated National Apprenticeship Week. Price Bailey has many trainee accountants, taken on as apprentices and graduates. Staff are encouraged to return to their old schools or universities to promote the firm.

Commenting on their commitment to their apprenticeship scheme, Human Resources Partner Nadia Khan said:

“Price Bailey is proud to be an employer that utilises the apprenticeship scheme and gives young people a head start with their careers. It is fantastic to see them grow and develop as they work towards a professional qualification, whilst also benefitting from on the job training under the guidance of our experienced senior members of staff. We also really value the concept of upskilling our existing workforce and have seen tremendous benefit when our people have continued studying later in their careers.”

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21st February: Price Bailey is officially an 'Outstanding' company to work for

Price Bailey has been officially recognised by the Best Companies survey 2022 as one of the best companies to work for in the UK, having been awarded 2-star accreditation and described as ‘Outstanding’. Best Companies independently surveyed staff at Price Bailey across a wide range of workplace factors.

In the same week that the firm celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, Price Bailey received the award due to incredibly high levels of employee engagement.


10th December: Price Bailey helps negotiate the sale of Root Solutions joining PDSVISION

The sale was negotiated with the support of Price Bailey’s SCF department
SCF Partner Phil Sharpe explains more

Tailored technology service provider Root Solutions Ltd. announced that it has joined PDSVISION Group in a move that sees the Swedish entity expand its UK operations.

The Cambridge-based technology company, Root Solutions, provides engineering-based software to companies across the UK. This includes Computer Aided Design, Augmented Reality (AR) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). These solutions help clients improve their engineering processes and product quality and is backed up by comprehensive technical support and training.

PDSVISION are a global provider of solutions and services focused on enabling their digital transformation journey from product development to aftermarket services. PDSVISION’s solutions are centred on the portfolio of products provided by NASDAQ listed PTC and ANSYS. PDSVISION also develop their own range of software applications. The group is headquartered in Sweden and has operations in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, United Kingdom, South Africa and the USA.

Roger French Co-Founder and Managing Director of Root Solutions commented, “Root Solutions and PDSVISION complement each other perfectly. We have the same business goals and same team culture. We will now be part of a global organisation in which our collective know-how and experience will give customers an even broader solution portfolio and fuel future growth. It is the foundation of a strong partnership which will benefit both customers and employees.”

Johan Klingvall, CEO of PDSVISION said, “This acquisition strengthens our position in UK and allows PDSVISION to continue the growth of the services we provide as part of the continued expansion of our global footprint. There are clear synergies in combining our services and winning cultures, not only to continue supporting our customers, but to also develop a deeper understanding of how we can enhance the services and support we provide. I am excited to continue the journey together with our new UK colleagues.”

Price Bailey’s SCF Partner Phil Sharpe helped negotiate the sale commented: “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to advise on the sale of Root Solutions. We started this journey with the shareholders, Roger and Mark, four years ago, having advised them on the sale of sister company Innova. When they decided to sell Root Solutions we were delighted that they asked for our help again. The deal has delivered a positive outcome for all parties involved and again demonstrates how successful local businesses are achieving international recognition.”

Roger French commented further, “Anyone considering the sale of their business should get advice from an experienced professional. Even if you have already received an approach or offer there is a lot of work and complexity in getting the deal completed. Phil Sharpe and his team at Price Bailey were a perfect partner to walk that journey with us. Your guidance and experience was vital but more than that it was a pleasure working with the Price Bailey team.”

Mark Bradford, co-founder added, “We are extremely grateful for your ability to make a complex process understandable for us and helping to get the transaction done. It has been an enjoyable process with your team by our side. This is the second transaction you’ve completed for Roger and I over the past few years and we’ve been very happy with both outcomes. We really appreciate the support you have given us throughout the process.

23rd November: Price Bailey assists with BrightGen joining Omnicom's Credera

  • The acquisition was negotiated with the support of Price Baileyrsquo;s SCF department
  • SCF Partner Phil Sharpe explains more

Tailored technology service provider BrightGen announced that it has joined Omnicomrsquo;s Credera after the US listed entity acquired the company.

The London and Essex-based technology company, BrightGen, primarily partners with CRM aggregate software Salesforce which aims to help marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams synergise more effectively. Award-winning BrightGen focuses on enabling clients to provide optimal experiences to their customers. It has grown significantly in recent years and now one of the largest implementers of Salesforce’s software with many global clients. Their management team will continue to lead the company and provide utmost autonomy at the benefit of clients and customers.

Credera made the investment as a move to expand its digital transformation reach, as well as expanded depth in marketing technology and customer experience capabilities. The firm is part of Omnicom’s Precision Marketing Group (OPMG) which specialises in digital and customer relationship management.

Rob Stevens and Martin Tyte, Co-CEOs and Co-Founders of BrightGen commented, “Having established BrightGen in 2006, the past 15 years of building the team and client relationships has been fantastic. BrightGen is now ready to take the next step in our growth through a partnership with Credera and Omnicom.

“Together, we have the strategic vision and cultural fit that will expand our capabilities and accelerate our growth,” they continued. “This is an exciting time for the business and our team.”

Justin Bell, President and CEO of Credera said, “We remain committed to prioritising investment in organisations that create remarkable customer experiences with meaningful outcomes for our diverse client base and we have tremendous confidence that BrightGen’s depths of expertise will better enable us to do just that.”

Price Bailey’s SCF Partner Phil Sharpe helped negotiate the sale commented: “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to advise on the sale of BrightGen. The deal has delivered a great outcome for all parties involved. BrightGen’s acquisition by Credera again demonstrates how successful local businesses are achieving international recognition.”

Rob and Martin commented, “We were delighted to have engaged the Price Bailey team who supported us through this exciting and fast paced sale process.”

Anna Bowes, Finance Director added, “Good advice and lots of preparation before you embark on your sale is key to a smooth journey through the process and achieving a successful outcome. Having a team around that you trust and who you know are on your side proved invaluable to us. It is important to not under-estimate the amount of time, effort and emotion it will take to get through due diligence! The PB team were on hand whenever we needed them, with a calm voice and their collective experience helped guide us through this complex and challenging process. I cannot thank them enough for their support.”

4th October: Price Bailey announce nine new senior-level promotions

Price Bailey has announced nine new senior-level promotions across the firm this month.

These include two directors, Mark Roach in the Corporate team and Gemma Thake in the Tax team and seven senior managers, Stacey Ellwood in the Finance team, Sarah Howarth and Andrew Parsons, both in the Tax team, Simon Lovick, Simon Rowley and Stephan Schmitt in the Corporate team and Mark Rowntree in the Strategic Corporate Finance team. These promotions are a critical part of the ongoing success of Price Bailey.

Commenting on the promotions, Martin Clapson, Managing Director at Price Bailey, said, “These promotions recognise how diverse our teams are and how wide-ranging our skill base is. Some have joined after qualification, others have had their whole career at Price Bailey. But what was clear is that everyone recognises the importance of a successful work-life balance, and the ability to work either full-time or part-time does not impact ongoing development and promotion. Congratulations to all these individuals and to the other 23 promotions awarded across the firm.”


Mark Roach – Director

Mark is part of our corporate team and joined the firm in 2012 as a graduate trainee. Since qualifying in 2015 he has continued to progress quickly, becoming a manager in 2017 and senior manager in 2020. Managing a range of clients across a variety of industries, Mark looks after some of our largest clients within the City office. He is a key player leading the ongoing growth of the City corporate team and continues to drive this growth. Outside of work Mark enjoys most sports, particularly a round of golf and often less enjoyably attending Arsenal.


Gemma Thake – Director

Gemma joined Price Bailey in 2017 as a manager in the tax team and was promoted to senior manager in 2019. Prior to this she started her career at Deloitte and then spent 10 years at PEM in Cambridge. She is ACA and CTA qualified and specialises in corporate tax, working on some of our most complex advisory work and regularly assisting the corporate and business teams with compliance. Gemma also specialises in R&D tax relief and Patent Box claims, which is an area she will continue to focus on as well as growing and developing the tax team. Outside of work, Gemma has a young son and is a trustee of a local charity.


Simon Rowley – Senior Manager

Simon joined Price Bailey in 2014, having previously qualified as a chartered accountant at Chantrey Vellacott. He works within the corporate team and manages a diverse spectrum of both corporate and not-for-profit clients. This exposure has enabled him to develop a strong knowledge of UK GAAP as well as current auditing challenges facing both OMBs and charitable organisations. Simon is also critical in driving the growth of our City office. When not at work Simon can be found keeping fit and socialising with family and friends.

Stephan Schmitt Senior Manager

Stephan joined Price Bailey in 2017 from BDO, having also previously worked as an actuary. He is an audit specialist and works with some of East Anglia’s most respected organisations as well as some companies outside the region. In addition to the usual corporate work, Stephan has started to roll out analytical audit techniques across the firm. This will continue as digital audit techniques become increasingly prominent across the profession. Outside of work Stephan has a young family, and enjoys a variety of water based activities, one of the many reasons he lives close to the Norfolk Broads.

Simon Lovick – Senior Manager

Simon has worked in our corporate department since joining the firm in 2008. He has been based in our Bishop’s Stortford after growing up in the local area and living there with his wife and 2 children. Simon was promoted to manager in 2017 with a portfolio comprising standard corporate audit clients, academy schools and other sector specialisms, notably occupational pension schemes. Simon has continued to grow these ‘niche’ specialisms and is now working with FE&HE Colleges.


Stacey Ellwood – Senior Manager

Stacey joined Price Bailey in 2005 straight from A Levels as a trainee purchase ledger clerk, qualifying in 2010, becoming a manager in 2015. Stacey is now Price Bailey’s financial controller, managing both the finance team and, more recently, the facilities function. Her role is varied and ever changing, she has been instrumental in the changes to our offices front of house areas, and what the office environment will be going forward in the new normal. Outside of work Stacey is a mum to a two year old girl, and attempts to play netball now and then.

Strategic Corporate Finance

Mark Rowntree – Senior Manager

Mark joined Price Bailey in 2015 originally as Business Development Manager in London after working in corporate finance for over eight years. Following a period working within the wider SCF department he transitioned back to corporate finance full-time and has since worked on a range of growth capital projects, management buyouts and company disposals. Mark maintains a strong network of Private Equity relationships in London which will help deliver work and originate new opportunities for the firm in the future. Outside of work, Mark is a father of two very young children but used to have plenty of hobbies before this, including playing and watching a wide range of sports, traveling, reading and bedroom deejaying.


Sarah Howarth – Senior Manager

Sarah has been part of the tax team for two and half years having joined Price Bailey after 10 years with Ernst and Young. She works across a wide range of tax advisory projects, but specialises in large and complex corporate groups, and international tax matters. She will continue to support the tax partners and wider firm in these areas in particular going forward. Outside of work, Sarah enjoys the great outdoors and spending time with her young family.

Andrew Parsons – Senior Manager

Andrew joined Price Bailey’s tax team in 2015 after beginning his career with Dixon Wilson. He is responsible for portfolio of personal and trust tax clients and property tax work, and have developed an in depth knowledge in these areas. In addition, he has developed knowledge and skill in SDLT/ATED matters, and will continue to support the wider team advising clients with complex affairs.

Across the firm, there were 23 other promotions awarded this month.

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5th August: Cambridge United and Price Bailey partnership continues

Price Bailey is delighted to announce that the long-standing partnership with Cambridge United Football Club will continue for the 2021/22 season.

The renewed deal will see the Price Bailey logo prominently displayed on the tracksuit used by all first-team players at the club.

Cambridge United’s opener is at the Abbey Stadium against Oxford United on Saturday, 7 August, as they look to kick start their League One campaign off the back of their recent promotion from League Two last season.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director of Price Bailey, commented, “Price Bailey has a long-standing relationship with Cambridge United, and we’re very proud to continue our association with the club this season. We are committed to supporting our local community and understand how important sport is in bringing people and communities together.”

cambridge united photo sponsor


Head of Commercial at Cambridge United, Neil Rowe, added, “It is great to announce the extension to the partnership between Price Bailey and Cambridge United for the upcoming season. As a club, we are proud to work with a local business that offers a professional service and engages with the community. Price Bailey is certainly one of those businesses, and we are delighted to continue the relationship”.

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21st July: Smith Cooper System Partners announces acquisition of Price Bailey Business Systems

Smith Cooper System Partners are delighted to announce the acquisition of the Price Bailey LLP Business Systems Division.

Based in Cambridge and with more than 20 years’ experience as a Sage Business Partner, Price Bailey Business Systems has earned a fantastic reputation for customer service and quality Sage 200 support. The business provides all the standard Sage 200 products and services and, in line with their parent company Price Bailey LLP, is rightly proud of the fantastic relationships it enjoys with its loyal customers.

Chris Smith, MD of Smith Cooper said “The growth and progress of our company over the last six years has been immense and this is another important but sensible step on our journey. The acquisition of Price Bailey’s Sage division is a fantastic addition to our operation in the Southern region and our business at large. From the early stages of discussions with the Price Bailey team we recognised a synergy in the way we all believe a Sage Business Partner should work and how Sage 200 customers should be treated. However, we also recognised an opportunity for Smith Cooper to provide some assistance to the team and add even more value for the clients. I am naturally thrilled that Price Bailey has chosen Smith Cooper as the company best placed to work with them to move their business systems division forwards into a new era, whilst safeguarding the quality of service their clients currently enjoy.”

Alan Becker, divisional manager of Price Bailey Business Systems who will be remaining at Price Bailey, said “We are immensely proud of our history as a quality Sage 200 support partner and have worked tirelessly over the last 20 years to achieve the reputation we enjoy today. Both myself and the team value the service we provide to our clients above all else and are very confident that Smith Cooper will not only retain our levels of service but actually improve it with a wider team and an expanded service offering. I believe this is a fantastic development for our clients, staff and suppliers.”

Smith Cooper System Partners would like to thank Howard Sears and the senior team at Price Bailey LLP, Flint Bishop LLP and Tees Law for their professional assistance in moving this transaction to completion.

Should you require any further information with regard to this news, please email [email protected].

11th June: Price Bailey and Action Medical Research highly commended for Corporate Partnership of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising East Anglia Awards

Recognised for two-year funding raising partnership between Price Bailey and Action Medical Research which raised over £100,000

Price Bailey, one of East Anglia’s leading accountancy firms, has been highly commended for Corporate Partnership of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising East Anglia Awards for their work with charity partners Action Medical Research. The awards were held online on 10 June.

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for UK fundraising and organises prestigious annual awards to recognise fundraising excellence. This year’s awards focused on how charities adapted to the pandemic while also acknowledging the remarkable achievements made by fundraisers and funders from across the board.

Charities day image


The East Anglia Awards consisted of the following categories: Campaign of the Year, Charity Partnership(s) of the Year, Corporate Partnership of the Year, Grant Giver of the Year, Professional Fundraiser of the Year and Volunteer Fundraiser (incorporating virtual events) of the Year. Price Bailey was highly commended in the Corporate Partnership of the Year category alongside Action Medical Research.

Price Bailey recently completed a series of charity skydives for Action Medical Research in Cambridgeshire, which marked the conclusion of a two-year fundraising partnership during which Price Bailey volunteers raised over £100,000 in support of their ‘Saving Tiny Lives’ campaign. The campaign is focused on research into reducing premature births. Around 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK, and sadly 1,000 tragically die, making it the biggest cause of death in babies; for those that do survive, it is also the leading cause of disability.

Sky dive


Catherine Willshire, Corporate Social Responsibility Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “We are delighted to have been highly commended for this prestigious award. Everyone at Price Bailey is immensely proud of the commitment demonstrated by our teams in fundraising in support of this vital cause. We are a firm with a substantial presence in East Anglia, and while we have grown nationally and internationally in recent years, being shortlisted for this prestigious accolade demonstrates that it is possible to combine top-level ambition with a personal, family-oriented culture that ensures we remain deeply embedded in the local communities we know so well in East Anglia.”

Lyndsay Wood, Corporate Fundraising Manager at Action Medical Aid, comments: “We would like to thank Price Bailey for their enthusiasm and dedication over the two years of our fundraising partnership. They exceeded what was an incredibly challenging fundraising target, which will help us to continue our crucial work of helping sick and disabled children lead better lives.”

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3rd June: Price Bailey advises on the sale of leading Irish-based automation business

Price Bailey, the chartered accountants and business advisers, have advised the shareholders of Ireland-based Control and Information Management Limited (CIM) on the sale of the business to German-based Process Automation Systems (PA Solutions), a subsidiary of Canadian parent ATS Automation Tooling Systems (ATS), a manufacturer of automated systems, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange with a market cap of £1.6bn.

CIM was founded in 2003 by Darrin McCrudden and Eamonn Nally through a management buyout of the Siemens Ireland Industrial Projects division and is now one of the leading system integrators in industrial automation in Ireland. Its core business is the delivery of fully validated automated process control systems in the highly regulated life sciences industry and it maintains significant long-term relationships with the major blue-chip companies operating in this arena in Ireland.

CIM has experienced double digit growth over the past number of years as a result of the growing demand for quality process automation systems and engineering solutions from the life sciences and high-tech manufacturing industries. The Company has continued to expand in this competitive market because of its exceptional team of project managers, lead technical engineers and automation engineers that deliver consistent solutions to specification, schedule, quality and cost.

Price Bailey’ Strategic Corporate Finance (SCF) team acted as lead advisor on the Company’s sale to PA Solutions and Mark Rowntree, who led the transaction for Price Bailey commented “We are pleased to help Darrin and Eamonn on the transition of their business to PA Solutions. PA is a very good home for the CIM team, and the two companies will be able to offer a broader portfolio of consulting and engineering services to the market, whilst also competing for larger CAPEX projects.”

Darrin and Eamonn, who will remain with CIM, will aim to leverage the product innovation of ATS and the engineering excellence of PA Systems and add significant value to its current Irish client base. They will also drive the growth strategy for the combined business to strengthen their presence in regulated and non-regulated manufacturing. Eamonn comments “We have developed a strong relationship with PA Systems since our initial engagement with their leadership team and we share the same ethos for providing high-quality, technical engineering solutions and services in the automation space. We are excited to grow with the backing of an international partner.”

On working with Price Bailey, Darrin comments “It was a pleasure working with the Price Bailey team on our sale to PA Systems. They were with us every step of the way and added significant value to us as well as to the wider sales process”.

This latest transaction is another example of a successful virtual cross border deal for the Price Bailey SCF team, having also completed the sale of Diamond Pharma Services and Noahs Ark Chemicals in March 2021 with more cross border deals in progress. Simon Blake, head of Strategic Corporate Finance at Price Bailey comments. “We continue to see significant interest in UK and Irish businesses from a range of hungry international corporate acquirers. Virtual deal-making has levelled the playing field somewhat for international buyers as they can commit similar levels of effort, resource and cost as any local acquirer when it comes to origination and transacting. It will be interesting to see what happens as the world opens up.”

In addition to Price Bailey, CIM was supported by Flynn O’Driscoll (legal) and RBK (accounting and tax). PA Systems was supported by LK Shields (legal) and Mazars (financial due diligence).

Link to the official deal announcement here.

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19th March: Price Bailey advises on the sale of Diamond Pharma Services to US-based ProPharma Group

Diamond Pharma Services, a British pharmaceuticals consultancy specialising in compliance and regulation, has been acquired by ProPharma Group, the world’s leading provider of compliance and regulatory expertise to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Price Bailey, the top 30 accountants, advised Diamond Pharma Services on the sale.

Diamond Pharma Services provides regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, and compliance & quality services to support pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in obtaining and maintaining medicinal product licenses throughout all stages of a product’s life cycle.

Founded in 2005 Diamond Pharma Services is headquartered in Harlow, Essex, employs over 70 staff and serves clients from the very small and virtual, through to large multinational pharmaceutical companies. The company has satellite offices in London and Cambridge, Amsterdam, Dublin, and Cambridge-Boston (US).

Phil Sharpe, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “We have seen a surge of interest by foreign buyers in acquiring UK companies over the past year. This deal is a good illustration of that trend and shows that the fundamentals of the UK economy remain sound post-Brexit. The UK continues to be regarded as a stepping-stone to Europe, and the conclusion of a Brexit trade deal, together with favourable exchange rates, has released a lot of pent-up demand from foreign buyers.”

Dawn Sherman, ProPharma Group’s CEO, comments: “We are excited to welcome Diamond Pharma Services into the ProPharma Group family. This acquisition further solidifies ProPharma Group’s position as the leading global provider of regulatory, compliance, pharmacovigilance, and medical information services. With our mission and higher purpose of improving the health and safety of patients, we are focused on delivering the highest quality of services throughout the full product lifecycle.”

Maureen Graham, Founder, Diamond Pharma Services, comments: “Joining forces with ProPharma Group offers a fantastic opportunity to enhance the ways in which our teams can bring value to our customers, working together to improve the health and safety of patients. Our complementary experience and expertise will allow us to bring even more depth and breadth to the services we provide our clients.”

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12th March: Price Bailey advises on acquisition of leading London-based chemicals distribution business

Noahs Ark Chemicals, one of the UK’s leading chemical distribution businesses, has been acquired by Count Energy Trading, based in the Netherlands. Price Bailey, the top 30 accountants, advised Noahs Ark Chemicals on the sale.

The business has been acquired from Bharat Bhardwaj, the company’s founder, who established Noahs Ark Chemicals in Cambridge in 2001. Since then, the business has successfully established satellite operations in Belgium and Switzerland and trades across global markets, including China, Europe, India, South Korea, the Middle East, South America, and the United States.

This transaction will allow Count, a trading house specialising in chemicals, fuel components, and advanced recycling, to further deepen its presence in the chemical distribution market.

Jeroen Baaima, CEO of Count Energy Trading, comments: “We have known Bharat and Rashmi – the founders of Noahs Ark Chemicals – for many years and are proud they have put their faith in us to take their company to the next level.”

Bharat Bhardwaj, CEO of Noahs Ark further elaborated: “This acquisition will allow us to strengthen our capability to continue business growth. Mr. Jeroen Baaima will take over as CEO of the Noahs Ark Chemical Companies and I shall be working closely with him, with our teams, in ensuring success in this year ahead. With the support of the new owners, I will also be continuing my work on leading the development of the digital platforms of the chemical distribution industry via the GoBuyChem and Impratech ventures.”

Chand Chudasama, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “We have seen an increase in business owners looking to cash out and retire since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, the acquirer was in a position to finance the transaction with cash. This was important to getting the deal completed smoothly as High Street banks have shown themselves reluctant to finance deals on terms acceptable to management over the past year. This transaction puts the business on a firm footing for navigating the current economic headwinds and continued expansion.”

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8th March: Price Bailey provide advice and guidance to ensure a "smooth and stress-free" transaction

Price Bailey has advised management on the shareholder buyout of Carvels Lettings Limited, a lettings and property management company based in Norwich. The Company specialises in residential lettings and student properties.

Sheridan Derbyshire and exiting shareholder Anna Daniels co-founded the Company in 2013 and have managed the business since. Anna decided to leave the business to pursue a new business venture, presenting the opportunity for Sheridan to undertake a shareholder buy out and acquire full control of the Company.

Price Bailey provided lead advisory support throughout the process, including; initial feasibility and transaction structuring, review of financial projections to support the transaction and funding discussions, exploring suitable funding options, obtaining tax clearance for the transaction and liaising with the legal advisors, offering advice and support through to successful completion.

Sheridan Derbyshire, Carvells Lettings said, “Price Bailey’s advice, support and project management helped guide us to the outcome we desired. Their input at the early feasibility stages was pivotal and helped ensure this was a smooth and stress-free transaction. I would like to thank Seb and Sam at Price Bailey for their help and support.”

Seb Humberston, Price Bailey said, “It was pleasing to be able to help Sheridan and Anna structure a simple deal that worked for both their needs and, working with the respective lawyers at Rogers & Norton and Ashtons Legal, meant that it was possible to conclude matters quickly and efficiently. I am sure Sheridan will continue Carvels successfully, and of course, we also wish Anna well in her new venture.”

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.


15th December: Interview: Matt Howard discusses looking at the foundations of your business

Matt HowardInterview with Matt Howard

Matt Howard, Insolvency and Recovery Partner at Price Bailey is interviewed on Future Radio and explains the insolvency process as well as considering practical steps business owners can take in order to turnaround a struggling business, including taking an honest look at the foundations of your business. For more information, you can contact Matt below.

Matt Howard – Partner Price Bailey

This interview was with Future Radio 107.8FM – A community radio station for Norwich

15th October: Record numbers of businesses voluntarily closing due to economic uncertainty and fears over Capital Gains Tax rises

• 3,126 businesses voluntarily liquidated in Q3 2020
• 52% increase in voluntary liquidations compared to Q3 2019

A record number of businesses are voluntarily closing down due to the economic uncertainty around coronavirus and fears over a possible increase in Capital Gains Tax, according to data obtained by Price Bailey, the Top 30 accountants.

According to data obtained by Price Bailey, 3,126 businesses voluntarily appointed liquidators in Q3 2020, a 52% increase on Q3 2019, when 2,058 businesses voluntarily appointed liquidators. The number of voluntary liquidations in Q3 2020 represents the highest Q3 total on record.
Members’ voluntary liquidations, Q3 2014 to Q3 2020

Price Bailey says that it has seen a surge in enquiries from business owners in the past quarter looking to close down their businesses in an orderly way and take cash out. In many cases, however, business owners are acting in haste and could take more cash via a trade sale or management buy-out.

Price Bailey points out that it has been widely speculated that Capital Gains Tax will be increased to a maximum rate of 40 percent as the Chancellor looks to shore up the public finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses owners are currently eligible for Business Asset Disposal Relief (Entrepreneurs’ Relief). This reduces the amount of Capital Gains Tax they are legally be required to pay when taking cash out of their businesses to 10 percent.

Matt Howard, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “We are seeing a flood of enquiries from business owners seeking to voluntarily cease trading and cash out. Many business owners adopted a wait-and-see approach during the early stages of the pandemic but as the crisis has worn on and the economic outlook has worsened increasing numbers are taking matters into their own hands. They believe they are facing a stark choice between either shutting down now and taking some money or hanging on and potentially running up losses.”

“Many of these business owners are a decade or more before retirement age and their businesses are perfectly viable. Closing them down in many cases will result in job losses, which will have a knock-on effect on the wider economy. There is a large ecosystem of potential buyers with cash to spend, and many of these businesses will have built up intangible value, such as goodwill, which will be lost if they simply cease to trade.”

He adds: “Insolvencies in which the creditors pull the plug on businesses are at their lowest level in over a decade due to government support measures. It is therefore all the more ironic that so many business owners are voluntarily switching off the lights.”

According to Price Bailey, the mooted rise in Capital Gains Tax has spurred many business owners to accelerate plans to exit their businesses. For viable businesses, however, a members’ voluntary liquidation is often the worst option. Historically low interest rates mean that debt is cheap for potential buyers, so a trade sale or management buy-out, are alternatives worth exploring.

Matt Howard says: “There are plenty of available buyers that are able to access cheap debt to finance acquisitions. While High Street banks are showing some reluctance to lend, alternative lenders have an appetite to finance acquisitions. With the Autumn budget cancelled, we are unlikely to see an increase in Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year, which means that business owners have sufficient time to explore all the options alongside voluntary liquidation.”

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28th August: HMRC yield from enquiries into taxpayers with offshore assets surges

HMRC yield from enquiries into taxpayers with offshore assets surges to £684,298 per enquiry.

The amount per enquiry nearly doubles since 2016/17. Higher fines and more sophisticated data analytics leading to behavioural change among taxpayers

The amount of tax collected per enquiry into wealthy taxpayers with income and/or assets offshore has almost doubled in the last three years to £684,298 per enquiry, according to Price Bailey, the Top 30 accountants.

Price Bailey obtained data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) under the Freedom of Information Act, which revealed that £414 million was identified from 605 investigations in 2019/20 (£684,298 per enquiry) compared to £325 million from 842 investigations (£385,786 per enquiry) in 2016/17. The data represents the work of the Offshore, Corporate & Wealthy unit, which sits within the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC.

Price Bailey points out that the absolute number of enquiries and tax identified fell from a high of 827 and £560 million respectively in 2017/18. The reason for the falling number of enquiries and the amount of tax collected is likely a result of taxpayers modifying their behaviour due to much more punitive fines (up to 300% of the tax due for those with undeclared assets/income offshore), combined with HMRC’s use of big data, which is likely leading to behavioural change.

Jay Sanghrajka, Tax Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “While the number of enquiries has fallen to the lowest level in four years, the yield per enquiry has jumped by more than three quarters. HMRC is becoming much better at identifying and challenging the worst offenders by using Connect, a data matching and risking tool, that allows it to cross match one billion HMRC and third-party data items. This enables it to target the most non-compliant taxpayers with greater accuracy, which has pushed the yield per enquiry ever higher.”

“A new source of information for HMRC has been the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) launched in 2017 by the OECD which has increased transparency with over 100 countries participating in automatic exchange of information on taxpayers.”

“HMRC’s offshore unit is staffed by highly experienced lawyers and accountants and is sifting through huge amounts of data, including information on bank accounts from offshore financial centres such as the Channel Islands, Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. HMRC is able to use its algorithms to analyse vast amounts of personal and commercial information and establish links between individual taxpayers and businesses, income, assets and transactions.”

“Those caught out by HMRC will pay considerably more in penalties on top of the tax due. This is because HMRC can charge an increased penalty where the income or asset that gives rise to the penalty is held outside of the UK. Penalties of up to 300% of the amount of the outstanding tax can be imposed where the taxpayer has moved assets to avoid having details reported to HMRC under international agreements.”

“The ramping up of penalties for offshore non-compliance and the introduction of a strict liability offence making it a criminal offence to fail to declare offshore income over £25,000, together with HMRC’s greater use of big data analytics, is likely to have encouraged behavioural change. Taxpayers who may have hidden assets and income arising offshore only a few years ago are now more likely to think twice.”

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23rd July:Price Bailey support Comtec sale to French-based Euro Techno Com Group (ETC Group)

Cambridgeshire-based Comtec has been sold to French-based Euro Techno Com Group (ETC Group) in a deal supported by business and financial advisory specialist Price Bailey and law firm Keystone.

Founded in 1978, Comtec Group is one of the UK’s largest value-added distributors of telecom and IP equipment to both the carrier and enterprise markets, and a specialist in supply chain management for telecoms operators and systems vendors.

It serves most major telecom operators and installers in the UK and the Middle East, including BT, Virgin Media, Sky and Ooredoo. The company has experienced continuous growth since its inception and has scaled through targeted acquisitions and sustained international growth. Comtec has seven offices across the UK, Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Hong Kong.

Since completing a management buy-out, the business has continued to develop.  Revenues have more than doubled over the past five years to over £70m.

ETC Group has operations across six countries in Europe and North America. It is regarded as a global leader in product design, procurement, supply chain management and the distribution of passive and active telecom equipment and materials with best-in-class technical and logistics solutions for communications service providers’ network deployment and maintenance. Its 2,000+ customers include major American and European cable operators and telecoms service providers, as well as large and small independent installers and sub-contractors.

The transaction provides ETC Group, which was acquired by Carlyle last year, a strong foothold in the fast-growing UK market, where all major telecom operators and alternative networks have started a long-term deployment phase of fibre across the country to support the ever-increasing demand for high-speed connectivity.

The acquisition also allows ETC Group to serve the growing IP infrastructure market for enterprise customers and further expand its offerings and expertise in data centre supply and maintenance.

John and his fellow Comtec managing directors, John Buck and Dan Conway, remain with the business.

John Archer, CEO of Comtec, said: “We are delighted to join ETC Group and to combine our offering, expertise and scale to further support our customers in accelerating their fibre and IP infrastructure deployments. The acceleration of fibre roll-out will create several business opportunities for which the enlarged group is uniquely positioned.”

The Price Bailey Corporate Finance team led the deal process through negotiations and transaction structuring.  Phil Sharpe, Corporate Finance Partner at Price Bailey, who led the deal, said: “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to advise on the sale of Comtec. The deal has delivered a great outcome for all parties involved, strengthens Comtec’s offering and supports the continued growth of Comtec’s business. This is the first of many deals I hope to complete following my move to the Price Bailey in April”.

Archer went on to say “I am delighted to have been supported on the by the Price Bailey team.  I have known Phil for a long time, and he has a good understanding of our business, the key issues and how we like to work.  Phil provided some fantastic advice on the deal and helped us achieved a result that the shareholders are very proud of.”

Rich Grimster, Head of Tax at Price Bailey, provided Tax advice on the transaction.

Keystone law provided legal advice to the sellers, with Rob Matthews leading the team at Keystone.

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16th July: Deprived rural and inner London areas hardest hit by coronavirus jobs crisis

Some parts of the country have more than twice the proportion of furloughed employees than others

Data points to a very uneven economic recovery

Deprived rural and inner London boroughs have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus jobs crisis, according to an analysis by Price Bailey, the Top 30 firm of chartered accountants.

Price Bailey analysed data obtained from HM Revenue & Customs and National Statistics, which shows that the 10 hardest hit out of 370 local authorities in the UK as measured by the proportion of employees furloughed are either in rural areas heavily dependent on tourism or deprived London boroughs.

The three hardest hit local authorities are South Lakeland (Cumbria), Pendle (Lancashire) and Craven (North Yorkshire), which have 46.9%, 40.3% and 39.9% of their employees being paid via the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme respectively. This compares to just over a quarter (26.4%) of all UK employees who are currently furloughed.

The next hardest hit are the London boroughs of Brent, Haringey, Hounslow and Newham, in which 39.5%, 37.7%, 37.3% and 36.5% of employees are furloughed respectively (see table 1 below for details).

According to Price Bailey, the analysis shows that employees in the parts of the economy that were shut down entirely, including non-essential retail, hospitality and tourism, are disproportionately concentrated in certain parts of the country, which suggests that there are likely to be significant regional disparities in the economic recovery.

Commenting on the analysis, Stuart Curtis, Partner at Price Bailey, said: “These data indicate that the recovery could be very geographically uneven. The proportion of employees furloughed is twice as high in some boroughs as in others, revealing a stark divide in how the economic crisis is affecting different parts of the country.”

“Rural areas in the North of England, which are heavily reliant on tourism, along with boroughs in London with a high proportion of service sector jobs, such as Hounslow, which is home to thousands of people working at Heathrow airport, have borne the brunt of the economic impact of the lockdown.”

“Nearly half of all employees in South Lakeland in the Lake Distract are on furlough compared to just one fifth in Cambridge. The divide in London is starker still given the close proximity of the boroughs. The proportion of employees furloughed in Harringay, Hounslow and Newham is nearly twice as high as in Camden, the City, Islington or Westminster.”

“Furloughed employees will be spending less in their neighbourhoods, which will have a knock-on effect on local businesses. We could see pockets of deprivation become more entrenched as the areas which have been hardest hit take considerably longer to recover lost output.”

Curtis went on to say “The proportion of the workforce which has been furloughed is a barometer of the health of local businesses. As the furlough scheme unwinds, businesses will need to consider the turnover levels they are likely to achieve and the impact on cashflow of bringing furloughed staff back onto payroll. While some sectors of the economy likely will rebound quickly, others will need to take a more cautious approach.”

Table 1. Local authorities with the lowest proportion of furloughed employees


Local authority Number of employees (16+) Number of employees furloughed % of job furloughed
Cambridge 63,900 12,300 19.2%
Cherwell (Oxfordshire) 71,600 13,800 19.3%
Islington (London) 117,400 22,800 19.4%
Camden (London) 106,400 20,700 19.5%
Cities of London and Westminster 105,900 21,800 20.6%
Sheffield 257,000 53,500 20.8%
Dartford (Kent) 55,900 11,700 20.9%
Cardiff 168,300 36,00 21.4%
Boston (Lincolnshire) 29,700 6,400 21.5%
Richmond on Thames (London) 85,800 18,500 21.6%
UK average 33 million 8.7 million 26.4%


Table 2. Local authorities with the highest proportion of furloughed employees


Local authority Number of employees (16+) Number of employees furloughed % of job furloughed
South Lakeland (Cumbria) 35,200 16,500 46.9%
Pendle (Lancashire) 30,000 12,100 40.3%
Craven (North Yorkshire) 17,300 6,900 39.9%
Brent (London) 126,400 49,900 39.5%
Haringey (London) 111,800 42,100 37.7%
Hounslow (London) 114,000 42,500 37.3%
Newham (London) 145,600 53,200 36.5%
Scarborough (North Yorkshire) 39,700 14,500 36.5%
Ealing (London) 136,000 49,600 36.5%
North Norfolk 31,300 11,200 35.8%
UK average 33 million 8.7 million 26.4%

Areas with higher proportions of public sector jobs and high-value private sector jobs least affected by jobs crisis

The research by Price Bailey reveals that cities and localities with a high proportion of public sector jobs, and private sector jobs which allow for remote working, have not been as badly affected by the economic impact of the lockdown as other parts of the country.

Cambridge has the lowest proportion of workers furloughed in the UK, with 12,300 out of 63,900 employees, representing 19.2% of the total.

Other cities such as Sheffield, which has 20.8% of employees (53,500 out of 257,000) furloughed and Cardiff, which has 21.4% of employees (36,000 out of 168,300) furloughed, have also benefited from a high proportion of workers being public sector employees. 27.7% of the workforce in Cardiff are employed in the public sector, compared to just 16.5% nationally.

Curtis offers an explanation this by saying “The world-renowned education sector in Cambridge is clearly a major factor in the significantly lower number of employees being furloughed. A large proportion of workers in the education sector are not eligible for the furlough scheme and have been retained on full pay instead. The Cambridge economy, including the education sector, is highly internationalised, which has shielded it from the direct impact of the lockdown on the UK economy.”

“Other cities with a high proportion of public sector workers, such as Cardiff and Sheffield, have also fared better than the national average.”

Price Bailey points out that the introduction of flexible furloughing will add complexities to the furlough claim process. The firm has processed over 500 claims to date, from basic claims to those with complex salary sacrifice and pension arrangements.

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1st April: Price Bailey appoints Strategic Corporate Finance Partner from Grant Thornton in Cambridge

Price Bailey, one of the Top 30 chartered accountants and business advisers, is pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Sharpe as Strategic Corporate Finance Partner with effect from 1 April 2020, bringing the total number of Partners in the practice to 33 across 11 offices.

Phil has 22-years’ experience as a corporate financier and is well known to many in Price Bailey and across Cambridgeshire. He joins Price Bailey with a wealth of experience working previously at Grant Thornton and two big four accountancy firms, PwC and EY, in Cambridge.

Over the past 22 years Phil has advised a variety of clients, ranging from owner-managed businesses to FTSE 100 companies and public sector organisations. He has advised companies on strategy, disposals, acquisitions, debt and equity fund raising, restructuring and cash optimisation.

Phil will be primarily based out of Price Bailey’s Cambridge office. Head of Strategic Corporate Finance and Partner, Simon Blake said: “The appointment of Phil is an exciting and positive opportunity for Price Bailey and the Strategic Corporate Finance team and continues to demonstrate our ability to compete on many levels in the marketplace. He brings with him a wide range of transactional and advisory experience across a range of sectors.”

He joins an ever-expanding team as part of our drive to offer a greater breadth and depth of expertise to our clients.”

Phil Sharpe added: “I am delighted to be joining Price Bailey and welcome the opportunity of adding my experience and expertise to an already comprehensive corporate finance offering from the firm. Having spent most of my career in Cambridge, I have a strong network across the local business and advisory community and I’m looking forward to growing Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance and wider business. Whilst corporate finance will be my primary focus, I expect my work in other areas of advisory will be of particular relevance given the challenges businesses and shareholders will experience in the coming period.”

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31st March: Price Bailey promotes three new Partners, five new Directors and four Senior Managers

Price Bailey, a Top 30 chartered accountants and business advisers, is appointing three new Partners, bringing the total number of Partners in the practice to 33 across ten offices.

Darren Amott, Andrew Booth and Stuart Curtis, pictured below, are long-term Price Bailey employees and collectively have been with the firm for 75 years. Both Darren and Andrew will become Partners in the firm’s audit practice, while Stuart will become a Partner in the Business practice.

Darren Amott – Corporate

Darren joined the firm in May 2000. He started in Bishop’s Stortford and played a key role in the small team which opened the City of London office in 2007. Darren is responsible for a large portfolio of the firm’s larger corporate clients. Last year he qualified as an audit RI. Darren will continue concentrating on delivering excellent service to existing clients as well as developing and winning new work and helping to support and grow the City of London office.

Andrew Booth – Corporate

Andrew joined the firm straight from school in 1984 and is generally based in the Cambridge office.  Andrew primarily focuses on audit and has been part of the Corporate team since its inception. Andrew is a highly respected and key member of the Corporate department, working closely with many of the team across all offices. Andrew became Price Bailey’s first non-partner audit RI in 2010 and since then has been RI for many of the firm’s most challenging audits. Andrew will continue in his RI role and will continue to be the main relationship contact for many of the firm’s key clients, together with assisting the Partner team across Price Bailey.

Stuart Curtis – Business

Stuart joined Price Bailey as a manager in 2002 working in the Highams Park office. He has spent time in both the corporate team and, since 2012, the business team, looking after predominately owner-managed businesses and acting as a team leader, based in the City office, then Bishops Stortford and Cambridge. Stuart has a diverse set of skills, including being one of the firm’s qualified coaches and is an active participant in the PBInspires programme. Going forward Stuart will be working closely with William Wilson supporting the managers and team in Cambridge, Sawston and Ely in delivering the business team services to clients and growing the client base. From 1st April, payroll is moving out of the business team so, in addition to Stuart’s promotion, he will also be Head of Department for payroll.

Price Bailey is also appointing five new Directors, all of whom are employees of the firm. Gary Frear and Lewis Ratcliffe are being promoted to Directors in the Business practice, Heidi Berry will be a Director in the Legal Services team, and Tom Meeks and Stuart Morton will become Directors in the Corporate and Insolvency & Recovery teams respectively. Four employees are also being promoted to senior managers – Jacob McCloskey, Lee Sharman, Mark Roach and Padmeenee Hurdowa.

Martin Clapson, Managing Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “The appointment of three new Partners and five new Directors, all of whom are longstanding employees of the firm, is testament to our ethos as a firm which seeks to nurture and promote local talent. These are people who have deep networks within the local communities in which we operate, they understand the needs of local businesses and individuals, and have demonstrated great commitment to developing those relationships over many years. Their promotions are well-deserved, and I wish them continuing success with Price Bailey as we grow.”

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19th March: HMRC issuing demands for tax it has no legal right to following software errors

  • Follows HMRC computer error which rejected thousands of returns in 2018 and 2019
  • Relates to 2016/17 and 2017/18 self-assessment returns
  • Taxpayers should seek immediate advice

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is issuing letters to taxpayers demanding payment of tax it has no legal right to, according to Price Bailey, the Top 30 accountants.

According to Price Bailey, tens of thousands of self-assessment returns were rejected for the 2016/17 (31 January 2018) and 2017/18 (31 January 2019) filing deadlines due to a problem with HMRC’s software, which meant that it could not always accurately calculate the amount of tax due if taxpayers had unusually complex tax affairs, or if reported income was significantly different from HMRC’s expectations.

Price Bailey says that HMRC can correct errors in tax returns and demand any unpaid tax but this must be done within nine months of the date on which the particular tax return was delivered to HMRC. In most cases, that nine-month window has now closed, meaning that HMRC has no legal basis for demanding tax that was underpaid through no fault of the taxpayer.

Price Bailey warns that many taxpayers receiving letters relating to their 2016/17 and/or 2017/18 tax returns are unlikely to be aware of HMRC’s legal position and may pay the tax anyway without seeking advice.

Jay Sanghrajka, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “HMRC had until the end of October 2019 to make corrections to 2017/18 tax returns and demand payment. Most of those returns would have been filed on or before the 31 January deadline, which means that in many cases HMRC has missed its chance to correct those returns. Taxpayers who have already paid as a result of receiving a correction letter might be able to ask for their money back.”

“Many taxpayers who receive a letter from HMRC are likely to assume the revised calculation is correct and pay without first seeking a second opinion. In some cases, the amount of tax being demanded runs into tens of thousands of pounds, which likely will cause some taxpayers emotional distress and financial difficulty.”

He adds: “The statutory position is that these corrections do not appear to be formal enquiries or discovery assessments. The time limit for opening an enquiry into 2017/18 tax returns ran out on 31 January 2020. Enquiries into 2016/17 returns had to be opened by 31 January 2019 at the very latest.”

Price Bailey points out that when HMRC misses enquiry deadlines they often raise discovery assessments instead, where the time limit is four years, or six years in cases of carelessness.

Jay Sanghrajka says: “It is difficult to see how a tax inspector could “discover” an error, which was created by a flaw in HMRC’s software, and attribute that to a taxpayer. If a taxpayer refused to pay and HMRC opened discovery assessment in response, it is doubtful whether a tribunal judge would consider a discovery assessment valid in such circumstances.”

6th March: How our Strategic Corporate Finance team supported Foresight Group LLP in its investment into McIntyre Electrical Limited to facilitate a management buy-out

Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance (SCF) department, have supported Foresight Group LLP (Foresight) in its investment into McIntyre Electrical Limited (MEL) to facilitate a management buy-out (MBO).

MEL is a provider of safety-critical fire and electrical inspection, maintenance and monitoring services primarily undertaking work with housing associations. Foresight has invested £5 million into MEL through a combination of shareholder loan and equity investment.

This investment is the first from Foresight’s £100m East of England Fund which is focused on private equity investments into SMEs based primarily in the East of England, corner-stoned by the Cambridgeshire Pension Fund.

SCF carried out financial due diligence reporting focusing on historical trading, working capital position and financial projections. This provided assurance to Foresight on the recent performance of the business and also on the assumptions underpinning the financial model prepared by MEL’s management. The SCF team reported on key findings identified throughout the course of the project.

Stephen Reed, Strategic Corporate Finance Partner at Price Bailey said; “We are delighted to have assisted Foresight on another of their investments as they add to their investment portfolio. In particular, we are pleased to have helped get this, the first deal of the East of England Fund, over the line and we hope to provide support to Foresight on future investments from the fund across the region.”

Stephan Gueorguiev, Senior Investment Manager at Foresight commented: “We are really pleased to have completed our investment into MEL. I would like to thank Stephen and his team for their flexible approach and for the support they provided throughout the deal.”

13th February: Study success for Price Bailey student

Photo L to R:
Karl Ballard (Kaplan Financial),, Lisa Bowler (Kaplan Financial), Matt Hector (PB), Jordan King (PB), Aaron Widdows (PB), Stephan Schmitt (PB).

Jordan King, a senior accountant at Price Bailey in Norwich, has achieved a mark of 98% for his ACA project, officially qualifying him as an accountant.

Jordan’s report was focused on five key skills and behaviours such as building relationships and flexibility. For these, he drew on his experiences gained whilst working at Price Bailey describing the situation, actions and effectiveness as well as what he learnt. This was the final assessment in Jordan’s level 7 accountancy apprenticeship with The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

Joining Price Bailey on their Stepstone graduate programme, Jordan works in the Corporate team as an audit senior. In the last three years, he has worked on various private and public sector audits with a particular focus on group audits.

When asked what Jordan enjoys most about working as an accountant, Jordan said: “I feel trusted by clients and I am able to help them whilst using my specialist knowledge. I enjoy the exposure to a variety of interesting businesses and charities, as well as brushing shoulders with business professionals who are advanced in their careers and can offer me great learning opportunities. Price Bailey has always supported me throughout my career to date and provided me with challenging work which has supplemented my skills and experience alongside my studies.

“Study has been a significant part of my life to date; it has helped me to get to where I am today and will benefit me in my future career.”

Aaron Widdows, Corporate Partner said: “Price Bailey’s success is down to our two greatest assets, our clients and our staff. With people like Jordan on board we are very confident for the future of our firm.”

“We are thrilled for Jordan; he is an incredibly capable student and applies his skill in the workplace. We look forward to seeing him grow in his role using his skills and qualification to benefit our clients.”

23rd January: Price Bailey, Strategic Corporate Finance, have supported Barbri Inc. in its acquisition of leading legal training courses provider Kaplan Altior

Price Bailey, Strategic Corporate Finance, have supported BARBRI, Inc. (“BARBRI”) in its acquisition of leading UK legal training course provider Kaplan Altior (“Altior”). Altior is the legal education arm of the global education services company, Kaplan Inc. BARBRI is a premier provider of practical legal education in the USA and internationally; this acquisition expands on their global legal training offering.

The UK legal education market is expecting considerable changes with the introduction of the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam. This will see a complete restructure in the staged process of becoming a solicitor and this acquisition provides BARBRI a foothold in this changing market.

Price Bailey’s UK based Strategic Corporate Finance (SCF) team headed the project and carried out due diligence reporting focusing on the quality of earnings and working capital. This enabled the team to provide assurance on the recent performance of the Altior business and identify any necessary working capital adjustments, in particular around deferred revenue and revenue recognition. The SCF team reported on key findings with regards to deal drivers throughout the course of the project.

Stephen Reed, Strategic Corporate Finance Partner at Price Bailey mentioned; “We supported BARBRI with the acquisition of the trade and assets of Altior. We are delighted to have assisted BARBRI in expanding their service offering in the Solicitors Qualifying Exam preparation course market. We wish BARBRI every success with the integration of Altior and we hope to provide continued support going forward.”

Dan Wilson, Chief Financial Officer at BARBRI noted: “We are extremely pleased to have completed the acquisition of Kaplan Altior. Price Bailey played an instrumental role in supporting our due diligence efforts and ensuring this was a successful and smooth transaction. I would like to thank Stephen and his team for their personable approach, financial and accounting expertise and the support they provided throughout the deal.”

16th January: Fines issued by HMRC surge by a third in just three years

  • £816 million in fines issued in 2018/19
  • Fines issued rising almost twice as fast as amount of tax collected by HMRC
  • Self-assessment fines falling; offshore tax evasion fines soaring

The amount in fines issued by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has surged by nearly a third (32%) in just three years, according to official data obtained by Price Bailey, the Top 30 accountants.

According to Price Bailey, £816 million in fines was issued by HMRC in 2018/19, up from £620 million in 2015/16, an increase of 32%. This is a much faster rate of increase than the amount of tax collected by HMRC, which has increased by 19.2% from £495 billion to £590 billion over the same period.

Price Bailey says that the data illustrates how much more effective HMRC has become in identifying non-compliance while also imposing substantially more punitive fines in many cases.

Price Bailey explains that the amount of data on taxpayers at HMRC’s disposal, and its ability to analyse that data, has significantly increased in recent years. This has provided HMRC with ammunition to challenge many more taxpayers despite having fewer staff.

HMRC has developed a powerful software system, known as “Connect”, which is able to analyse vast amounts of personal and commercial information, seeking to establish links between individual taxpayers and businesses, income, assets and transactions. “Connect” was launched with limited functionality in 2010 but has since gained additional capabilities and access to data, including financial information from British Overseas Territories, 60 OECD countries as well as numerous other government bodies and financial institutions.

Jay Sanghrajka, Tax Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “The amount issued in fines is increasing at a much faster rate than the amount collected in tax, which means that HMRC is fining a higher proportion of taxpayers and using new powers to impose substantially heavier penalties.”

“The amount of data HMRC collects and cross-references allows it to form a more complete understanding of taxpayers’ liabilities. This means that HMRC can challenge a greater number of taxpayers at a significantly lower cost.”

“Discrepancies now come to light much sooner. Its software can automatically check information reported in tax returns against bank accounts and make sure they tally. Previously, checks of this kind would have been time-consuming but HMRC’s software can spot any inconsistencies swiftly and flag those for further investigation.”

Over 100 countries have signed up for the automatic exchange of information called the Common Reporting Standard or CRS. The Government brought in new rules referred to as Requirement to Correct which require a taxpayer to correct any failure to declare tax on overseas assets by 1 October 2018. Tough new penalties have been introduced from 1 October 2018 for incorrect returns relating to overseas assets.

He adds: “HMRC’s greater focus on offshore tax evasion goes hand-in-hand with new powers to impose much heavier fines on taxpayers for non-compliance. HMRC can charge an increased penalty of up to 200% of the value of the outstanding tax where the income or asset that gives rise to the penalty is held outside the UK compared to 100% in normal circumstances.”

Value of penalties issued by HMRC £ million

HMRC values of penalties issued graph

Fines imposed for self-assessment returns falling; fines for offshore tax evasion rising

According to Price Bailey, while the number and value of fines imposed in some areas are falling, in other areas there has been a dramatic increase in the value of fines imposed.

The value of penalty payments made in relation to self-assessment tax returns has more than halved over the last two years, from £64 million in 2015/16 to £21 million in 2017/18.

Conversely, the haul (including penalties) from investigations undertaken by the Offshore, Corporate and Wealthy unit at HMRC has jumped from £325 million in 2016/17 to £560 million in 2018/19.

Jay Sanghrajka says: “In many areas of tax HMRC is undertaking fewer investigations and issuing fewer penalties. In other areas, such as taxpayers with assets and income offshore and transfer pricing disputes with multinationals, HMRC has been able to ramp up the amount of tax and penalties.”


12th December: Price Bailey supports PSI International Holdings Limited on their journey to the acquisition of Cubiks Group Limited

Chartered accountants and business advisers Price Bailey have supported PSI Services Inc on their journey to the acquisition of Cubiks Group Limited, a talent assessment and development software and services supplier, headquartered in Guildford, UK, with offices in 13 countries across Europe and Asia Pacific.

PSI, a global leader in the provision of talent assessment technology and consulting solutions with over 70 years of experience, approached Price Bailey to review and comment on a vendor due diligence report commissioned by Cubiks Group Limited. PSI had made an indicative offer and was seeking to firm up a valuation figure in advance of issuing a letter of intent. Given the nature of the offer, time was a factor and this ‘phase 1’ work was to be completed to a challenging deadline with a more comprehensive financial due diligence process taking place once a deal had been agreed.

Throughout the project, Price Bailey’s UK based Strategic Corporate Finance team collaborated with PSI’s wider international team, coordinating with its members in head office in Glendale, California and Boston, Massachusetts, as well as Europe.

The initial phase involved the independent review of the vendor due diligence report commissioned by Cubiks. The Price Bailey team undertook high level due diligence on the entire report to interrogate the historic EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) figures and normalisation adjustments proposed by both Cubiks and their due diligence supplier, as well as bringing any key findings to the client’s attention, and providing commentary on the original report. The deal valuation outlined in the report commissioned by Cubiks was based on a multiple of FY18 EBITDA, so any adjustments to this suggested or queried by the Price Bailey team directly impacted deal value for PSI and Cubiks.

The first phase was completed to deadline and the Price Bailey team reported back to PSI, who considered the team’s comments and findings in their finalisation of a letter of intent to Cubix Group Limited. This outlined the high level terms of their offer, including valuation. Once the above had been accepted, PSI engaged Price Bailey to complete the following phase of the financial due diligence process.

During this extended financial due diligence exercise, the work of the Price Bailey team extended into advisory work on the transaction itself. Particularly the significant complications arising from Cubiks employee ownership structure and related tax issues and the impact on the total deal valuation. This resulted in over £1M of savings for PSI in the negotiation of cash/debt-like adjustments.

Throughout the transaction, the Strategic Corporate Finance team took on more of an advisory role and contributed to a complex deal structuring process involving EBT (Employee benefit trust) share options, as well as realising over £1M of savings for PSI in the negotiation of cash/debt-like adjustments. This second phase spanned several weeks and resulted in successful completion in October 2019.

Simon Blake, Partner at Price Bailey, said: “This was a complex deal which required an adaptable project team at Price Bailey with a wide range of expertise. We are delighted to have assisted the PSI team in getting ready for the next stage of its journey.”

Janet Garcia, President at PSI thanked the Price Bailey team for the “over and above” work on this project, along with Ant Brice, Finance Director, highlighting his appreciation for additional work from the Price Bailey team to get PSI to their current stage.

1st November: Price Bailey advises on the management buyout of Professional Music Technology

Price Bailey, the chartered accountants and business advisers, have advised the management team of Professional Music Technology (“PMT”) on its management buyout of the business.

Founded 28 years ago by Simon Gilson and Terry Hope, PMT is the UK’s leading multi-channel retailer of musical instruments and professional audio products. The business operates through 15 stores across the UK and has a growing web presence at PMT employs more than 200 staff across its business and generates revenue in excess of £40 million per annum.

Price Bailey initially negotiated deal terms between the outgoing shareholders and MBO team before seeking funding from private equity and debt providers and managing the process to completion. This was a multi-layered transaction which involved a wide range of expertise across multiple Price Bailey teams in order to deliver a successful result for all parties. Price Bailey’s involvement encompassed:

  • Deal structuring and negotiation between the vendors and MBO team
  • Preparation of historic management accounts and the creation of an integrated financial model and business plan
  • Introduction to and negotiation with credible UK-based Private Equity and debt funders
  • Deal structuring and tax clearance for the proposed transactions
  • Continued outsourcing compliance support for monthly management accounts
  • Advisery on remuneration and share options
  • Management of a comprehensive due diligence process including financial, tax, legal, commercial and HR due diligence
  • Advisery on FCA change of control
  • Negotiation of legal documentation and project management to completion
  • Advisery on VAT recovery

Financing for the deal was provided by YFM Equity Partners and the founders of the business.

The buyout was led by David Black, who becomes Managing Director of the business. David first joined PMT some 18 years ago and has had day-to-day leadership responsibility for the business over the last four years, having opened six new stores in that time. David is supported in the buyout by Carly Scott (Commercial Director) and Andrew Ball (Operations Director), who joined the business in 2010 and 2012 respectively. The Board will be supplemented by Peter Moss, who joins as Finance Director, and brings strong industry experience. David Garratt, former CEO of Wex Photo Video, the leading multi-channel retailer of photographic and video equipment joins the Board as non-executive Chairman.

Over the coming years, David Black and his team plan to take advantage of the continued strong demand for musical instruments and pro-audio products from hobbyists and professional musicians alike. The business will focus both on the selective opening of new destination stores and the further development of its multi-channel proposition.

Simon Blake, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “This was a complex deal, which involved a project team at Price Bailey with a wide range of expertise, including lead advisery, tax advisery, compliance, project management and financial modelling. The new management have ambitious plans for this exciting business which has defied the gloom on the High Street, while increasing its digital footprint and gearing up for international expansion. We are delighted to have assisted the PMT team in getting ready for the next stage of its journey.”

David Black, Managing Director of PMT, commented: “I am very pleased to complete the buyout of PMT with the rest of the team. The founders have done a fantastic job of establishing a market-leading position, and we look forward to building on that in the future.  Price Bailey was instrumental in weaving all the threads of this complex deal together whilst helping the business with back office, outsourcing support. I would like to thank Simon and his team for their calming approach and for doing a fantastic job.”

Management were advised on the transaction by Simon Blake and Mark Rowntree from Price Bailey who acted as lead advisers to David Black and introduced YFM Equity Partners.  James Allen and David Hollier from Birketts provided Legal support.

1st October: Price Bailey unveils new board structure as expansion continues

Number of Executive Board members increases from five to six

Newly created Operational Board will have separate role and report to Executive Board

Price Bailey, the East Anglian and London based chartered accountants and business advisers, is increasing the size of its Executive Board and creating an Operational Board as part of its ongoing expansion. The Operational Board will focus on the day-to-day operations of the firm and report to the Executive Board, which will henceforward focus on strategy and governance.

The change in board structure is in response to Price Bailey’s continuing strong growth and its ongoing commitment to improve internal collaboration and the quality of services provided to clients. There is also the need to ensure that as the firm grows its increasing number of compliance and regulatory obligations are properly met.

The number of positions on the Executive Board is being increased from five to six. Gary Miller is stepping down from the Board, but will continue as a Partner at Price Bailey, whilst Howard Sears, Charlie Olley and Martin Clapson will continue in their roles of Practice Chairman, Finance Director and Managing Director respectively. The three vacant positions, which have been voted on by all partners, have been taken by Paul Cullen, who now begins his second term on the Board, Richard Vass and Nadia Khan.


Pictured above from left to right: Nadia Khan, Paul Cullen, Howard Sears, Martin Clapson, Richard Vass, Charlie Olley

The Operational Board, will be primarily comprised of partners that lead departments. Their role will be to implement the strategic decisions agreed by the board in conjunction with other departments, to foster greater internal collaboration, and report on day-to-day operational issues to the Executive Board.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director at Price Bailey, comments: “The new board structure marks a significant change for the firm, which is continuing to grow profitably and has just had another year of double-digit organic growth. This has brought about a need to change the leadership structure of the business to ensure that we continuously improve our client offering and fulfil our regulatory obligations.”

“The expanded Executive Board, together with the newly created Operational Board, will enable us to improve internal collaboration and cooperation between teams, so that our client offering is more cohesive and we continue to develop our services in line with their needs. The Operational Board will facilitate the roll-out of best practices, continuous improvement and service evolution and will free up the Executive Board to focus on strategy, governance and the long-term vision for the firm.”

He adds: “The new board structure brings greater diversity to the senior decision-making teams in the business by involving partners with different backgrounds, skills and service line expertise. This will ensure that the quality of our client offering continues to improve in parallel with the expansion of the business.”

24th September: Price Bailey advises leading furniture business on MBO

Price Bailey, has advised the management of Hunters Contracts Limited, the leading independent furniture specialist, on their acquisition of the business.

The deal will see the business acquired from original founders, Martin Playell and Gary Thomas, with Gary temporarily remaining in the post as Managing Director to smooth the transition to the new management team. The management team consists of Norman Campbell (Financial Director), Stef Brennan (Sales Director), Lewis Harman (Director of Architects & Designers), and Rob Cannon (Client Services Director). Finance is being provided by RBS.

Stef Brennan, Sales Director of Hunters Contracts, comments: “The management team taking over the reins of the business collectively has 70 years’ industry experience. This deal represents a seamless continuation of the Hunters Contracts success story and ensures the business remains in the hands of the experienced management team which has an established track record of delivering growth for the business and a strategic plan to expand in the UK and international markets. The strong culture that makes Hunters such a great company will continue to be a major focus moving forward.”

Hunters Contracts has for 30 years been a leading independent furniture consultant. It provides services to a range of international clients, with projects completed in high profile locations such as The Shard, The Scalpel and 1 Canada Square. With customers as diverse as Selfridges, Saatchi & Saatchi and the Natural History Museum, the business is highly experienced in delivering carefully tailored solutions to suit individual needs.

Sales grew in 2018 by 65% to £37m, partly driven by strong international growth, with projects completed in Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong. A long-standing client of Price Bailey, Hunters Contracts employs 50 staff. The company was recently named ‘Furniture Provider of the Year’ at the Mixology awards, the UK’s most prestigious awards for the interior design community.

Stephen Reed, Partner at Price Bailey, says: “We are delighted to have supported the management of Hunters Contracts on this MBO, which will ensure the longevity of the business as the highly experienced management team become the new owners and guide the business through its next stage of growth.”

The management team were also supported by Adam Jones at Birketts LLP.

9th September: Price Bailey contributes to BBC Radio 4 podcast 'In Business: The Business of Clicks'

In a recent podcast, the BBC has reported that research, conducted by Price Bailey, has shown that the number of online-only retailers going into administration has more than doubled since 2010, and that in 2018 alone those administrations went up by almost a fifth when compared with 2017.

You can listen to the full BBC podcast below ‘The Business of Clicks’ played on BBC Radio 4 as part of their ‘In Business’ series.

Online retail spending has increased more than four fold in the last ten years – it now accounts for almost one in five pounds we spend shopping. But whilst times are tough for our high streets, e-retailing is far from a licence to print money. With widespread discounting and a growing cost of delivery and returns, margins are being squeezed and many are finding it a struggle to survive. In this programme, Adam Shaw investigates how the economics of e-commerce work, what the move to predominantly online will mean for many retailers and what our shopping environment may look like in 10 years time.


BBC Radio 4 podcast In Business – BBC Sounds

This is further to research conducted by Price Bailey into the state of the food industry, where Price Bailey had reported that the number of restaurant businesses going bust had reached its highest level since 2010, jumping by more than a third in 2018.

3rd September: Price Bailey shortlisted for two British Accountancy Awards

London and East Anglia based Chartered Accountants and business advisers, Price Bailey, has been nominated once again for two prestigious British Accountancy Awards.

The nominations include Large Firm Innovation of the Year, and Outstanding Advisory or Client Project of the Year, and follow Price Bailey’s success at the British Accountancy Awards in 2018, where it was awarded the highest accolade – National Firm of the Year, alongside the award for Graduate and Non-Graduate Programme of the year.

Price Bailey is the largest professional service provider of Advisory and Compliance support in the Owner Managed Parks and Leisure sector in the UK, and its Parks and Leisure team has been nominated for the Outstanding Advisory or Client Project of the Year Award. The firm’s on-going investment into this sector has been highly successful. In the last two years, the team has been involved in 72 acquisition and sale mandates with the total deal size in excess of £350m. The foundations are in place for long term sustainable growth and financial success.

Large Firm Innovation of the Year Award is traditionally awarded to a firm recognised for its unique and innovative approach either to business structure and strategy, or to client service provision. This is the second time Price Bailey has been recognised in this category for the creation and development of its Practice Portal™ management system.

Practice Portal is used to unite the many different systems that the firm utilise to make their client data more accessible whilst also saving costs in licence fees for other products; its proven efficiency gains have led the firm to commoditise the solution, making it available across the accounting and legal industry.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director at Price Bailey comments: “To be shortlisted for an award for the seventh year running is an outstanding achievement. I am very proud that every year since 2013 we have been a finalist in the prestigious, and highly respected, British Accountancy Awards. We have been fortunate to be winners many times and last year when we won two awards including the big one, National Firm of the Year, we were overjoyed. My fellow partners and I know that our success is due to our talented, hardworking and supportive teams, and exceptional clients.”

12th August: Record fall in number of non-domiciled taxpayers as tax changes and Brexit bite

  • Tax take from UK resident non-domiciled taxpayers plummets by 21% in one year
  • Brexit uncertainty may be deterring non-doms from settling in the UK

The number of UK resident non-domiciled taxpayers and the amount of tax they are paying has seen a record fall in the past year, according to figures published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and seen by Price Bailey, the Top 30 accountants.

There were an estimated 78,300 individuals claiming non-domiciled taxpayer status in the UK on their Self-Assessment tax returns in 2017-18. This is down from around 90,500 in previous year, a fall of 13.5%.

The number of those individuals which were UK resident fell by 16%, from 75,900 in 2016/17 to 64,100 in 2017/18.

In 2017/18, the amount of UK Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and National Insurance contributions paid by all non-domiciled taxpayers was estimated to be £7,5 billion. This is a 21% fall from the 2016/17 number of £9.5 billion.

According to Price Bailey, HMRC is claiming that these numbers represent a success on the basis that many of these people have given up their non-domiciled status and become domiciled, resulting in no loss of revenue for the Exchequer.

Aaron Widdows, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “While some people have opted to pay tax on their worldwide income and gains, it is likely that tax hikes aimed at non-domiciled taxpayers have dissuaded many from coming to the UK in the first place. Even though HMRC may not have lost revenue, it might have brought in even more revenue if higher taxes have scared off wealthy foreigners.”

“Brexit could to be a factor in discouraging non-doms from settling in the UK and prompting some to leave. These people are very geographically mobile. It is likely that many non-doms will have looked at the political and economic uncertainty in the UK and decided that they are better off elsewhere. Non-doms invest large sums of money in the UK and create thousands of jobs and we should be encouraging inward investment into post-Brexit UK.”

Price Baily points out that the rules for deemed domicile took effect from 6 April 2017, and this is why many may have declared themselves as UK domiciled from 2017/18. In 2015/16 and 2016/17 only there was the potential to pay the remittance basis charge of £90,000. It is now impossible to pay that due to the 15-year rule, and so that might be a reason for a drop in the tax take, too.

He adds: “The rules for the remittance basis of tax are quite complex. People often assume that a remittance is simply a transfer of funds from an offshore bank account but purchasing assets in the UK using money from an overseas bank account also counts as a remittance. There are all sorts of ways non-doms could be liable for tax charges. The complexity of the rules and the higher remittance basis charge will have persuaded many to have become domiciled, leave the country or not bother coming in the first place.”

3rd May: Price Bailey achieves Xero Platinum Partner status

Price Bailey’s commitment to supporting and advising clients on sourcing the best possible cloud-based accounting solutions for their businesses has led to the firm achieving Platinum Partner status with leading software supplier Xero.

Xero’s cloud-based accounting system is specifically designed to make small business easier – enabling businesses to manage their finances around the clock and from any location, whether from a computer or using a digital device such as a smartphone or tablet. With secure easy access to key financial information, businesses can use Xero to raise invoices, track expenses and manage their finances in real time, while on the go.

xero platinum partner logo

The team at Price Bailey have worked with Xero for a number of years, and with the latest technological changes driven by HMRC now in place, the cloud-based software specialist has become the provider of choice for many of our clients’ businesses, as outsourcing manager James Elvin explained.

“With the recent introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD), we have identified Xero as our main solution for non-complex clients, because of the numerous benefits this cloud-based accounting solution can bring,” explained James.

“As well as the obvious advantage of accessibility, moving to a fully automated digital solution like Xero will enable clients to make better use of the financial information they collect, and also free up time and resources to focus on improving other areas of a business.

“We already use Xero as part of our solution, which is our bespoke outsourcing service to businesses, and many of the team have a lot of experience with the software, so we can provide training, advice and follow-up support to clients who make the move.

“And we’re delighted to achieve Xero Platinum Partner status – the highest level of partnership with the provider – which means that Price Bailey is now in the top two percent of Xero partners.”

As well as a wealth of experience in setting up and using the Xero platform, our team also have extensive knowledge of the many add-ons and third-party apps designed to work with Xero, such as ReceiptBank and Futrli.

To find out more about how you can make the most of cloud-based accounting, contact Price Bailey using the form below.

1st April: Price Bailey announce new Corporate Finance Partner

Price Bailey have announced the appointment of Chand Chudasama as Partner with effect from 1 April 2019, with a total number of 30 Partners across ten offices.

Chand joined Price Bailey in 2013 bringing with him a wealth of commercial and international experience. His capability was soon recognised and he was promoted to Manager in 2014, Senior Manager in 2017 and became a Director soon after.

Chand now leads the London Strategic Corporate Finance team. He works with owners, investors and management teams to appraise and design how to grow equity value through organic growth, international expansion, R&D and M&A. Chand then works with equity investors and banks to fund the transactions that fuel growth.

Prior to joining Price Bailey, Chand graduated top of his MBA year and worked in strategy consulting. He has played a key part in a series of successful engagements with high profile clients in various industries before leading his own team of consultants and analysts. Chand has worked and travelled in over 45 countries, on all six major continents, and has supported several youth and volunteer groups. He also founded his own ecommerce and manufacturing company, led an algorithmic trading project and has co-authored his first written work.

Chand’s promotion strengthens one of the firm’s core practice areas as his team continue to deliver a unique combination of corporate finance, research and strategy capabilities to Price Bailey’s ambitious clients.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director, said: “Our firm is growing rapidly in all divisions, including Strategic Corporate Finance and this success is largely down to our dedicated and enthusiastic people. Chand has shown a great deal of commitment to Price Bailey, this appointment is in recognition of his high level of enthusiasm and technical expertise – he really does care about the firm and its clients. These characteristics are very welcome amongst the Partner team, indeed welcome all around the firm.”

22nd February: Price Bailey named again in The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For 2019

Price Bailey, recently awarded National Firm of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards, has been recognised by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in their 2019 survey.

Ranked for the second year running.

Price Bailey, recently awarded National Firm of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards, has been recognised for the second year running by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in their 2019 survey.

Listed in The Sunday Times 19th annual ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in the mid-size category, the East Anglian and London based chartered accountants and business advisers were also placed in the 50 Best Companies to Work For in London and in the 75 Best Companies to Work For in East of England.

Over 800 businesses registered to take part and the views of thousands of employees determined the rankings, making it the largest survey of workplace engagement in the UK. Both employees and management took part to ensure a holistic view of the organisation’s HR policies and practices from across a wide range of organisations such as recruitment, construction, charity, advertising or accountancy.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director at Price Bailey, said: “We are very pleased to be listed for the second year running in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. We received valuable feedback from this survey, and I am proud that our people think that Price Bailey is a great place to work. We have had an amazing year, being awarded National Firm of the Year and Graduate and Non-Graduate Programme of the Year at the British Accountancy Awards, but this recognition measures Price Bailey against businesses and organisations from all sectors.” 

Nadia Khan, Human Resources Partner at Price Bailey added: “Our key point of difference at Price Bailey is our people and we continually work to improve our employee engagement, so I am delighted that we have again been listed as one of the best companies to work for in the UK. This is testament to the quality of our teams and their level of commitment to the Firm.”

30th January: Restaurants going bust reaches record high

The number of restaurant businesses going bust has reached its highest level since 2010, jumping by more than a third in 2018, according to data obtained by Price Bailey, the Top 30 accountancy firm.

According to Price Bailey, 1,442 British restaurant businesses became insolvent in 2018, a 38% increase on 2017 when 1,043 restaurant businesses went into insolvency. The number of restaurant sector insolvencies has more than doubled since 2010, when 674 went under. The number of restaurant businesses going bust is now averaging four per day, up from just under two per day in 2010.

Price Bailey says that the restaurant sector is facing a “perfect storm” of adverse trading conditions, which are proving particularly challenging for the mid-range casual dining market. A range of factors, including market saturation, rising costs and changing consumer spending habits are all piling the pressure on the beleaguered restaurant sector. This has forced a rising number of well-known chains into insolvency in 2018, including Byron, Gaucho and Sir Terrance Conran’s Prescott & Conran group of restaurants.

Paul Pittman, Partner at Price Bailey, comments: “The challenging trading conditions facing the restaurant sector show no signs of improving. 2018 was easily the toughest year for the sector since the financial crisis with a record number of restaurant groups calling in administrators.”

“The upper end of the sector in London is facing less pressure than the mid-range casual dining market. There was a huge private equity fuelled expansion in the mid-market, which led to over-saturation, leaving too many restaurants competing for customers. With margins still being squeezed we will continue to see the less viable businesses and sites in the sector under threat of closure.”

He adds: “Restaurants are capital-intensive businesses. Many are perpetually walking a balance-sheet tightrope and it often only takes a few months of poor takings to send them over the edge.”

Price Bailey points out that social media is accelerating changes in consumer tastes with people increasingly looking for novel dining experiences. As a result, restaurants can rapidly find themselves out of favour.

Paul Pittman says: “Chain restaurants are particularly vulnerable to changing consumer fads. What was once flavour of the month can quickly go out of fashion. The cost of acquiring leases and outfitting restaurants can run into the millions per site in prime city centre locations. You need a sustainable customer base to absorb that risk.”

“Restaurants are also facing stiffer competition from the food delivery market, with brands such as Just Eat and Deliveroo persuading many would-be diners to eat at home rather than spend more by eating out.”

Number of restaurant sector insolvencies since 2015

Number of restaurant sector insolvencies since 2015


22nd November: Price Bailey assist Flagship on a further acquisition to extend its commercial offering

Flagship Group provides affordable, market rent, shared ownership, and homes for sale across the East of England.

They own, manage and maintain over 22,500 homes and provide facilities, repairs and maintenance services to other housing providers and local authorities.

The Group has a turnover of £135m and is continuing to increase its commercial activity. It has achieved this through identification of a number of suitable acquisition targets, based upon desired criteria, as potential bolt-on opportunities for its existing gas maintenance and installation operations. Operating profits are reinvested back into the business, supporting its purpose of ‘providing homes for people in need’.

Having identified Blue Flame (Colchester) Limited as a potential match, Price Bailey assisted Flagship Group with the confidential approach to Blueflame from which commercial discussions commenced, resulting in the proposed acquisition. As part of the services provided, Price Bailey undertook financial due diligence on Blueflame across a range of key financial and commercial risk areas identified.

Lead advisory services were also provided throughout the deal process, from providing initial valuation appraisal, negotiating heads of terms and input on key aspects of the deal negotiations, including completion accounts mechanism and financial support on the legal documentation.

Price Bailey supported the internal Mergers and Acquisitions team at Flagship Group, providing ad hoc oversight and key technical input.

On 1 November 2018 final legal documents were exchanged and the successful acquisition was completed. Despite several challenges along the way, both parties are excited about the future opportunity this deal presents.

Andrew Yuill, Director of Business Growth at Flagship, said: “Price Bailey was adaptable in their approach to this particular deal, having worked with Stephen and the team on a number of previous acquisitions. The Flagship team were able to work closely with Price Bailey, calling for added input where required. We are thrilled to welcome Blueflame to the Flagship Group and hope this is a relationship which will flourish.”

Stephen Reed, Partner at Price Bailey in the Strategic Corporate Finance team, commented:
“We are delighted to have been involved in this transaction, working closely with Flagship to achieve this positive outcome. Flagship is a highly valued client and we look forward to continuing our relationship with further support of their ambitious plans.”

12th October: Price Bailey secures successful sale for Derbyshire Veterinary Services Ltd

Leading regional accountants and business advisers Price Bailey have played a leading role in securing the successful business sale of clients Derbyshire Veterinary Services to Independent Vetcare (IVC) – one of the largest veterinary practice groups in the UK.

The Strategic Corporate Finance team at Price Bailey was asked by Ashbourne-based Derbyshire Veterinary Services to provide independent advice on the sale of the business, appraising deals already offered by potential buyers before exploring the wider market and negotiating on the clients’ behalf.

Strategic Corporate Finance Partner Stephen Reed, who led on the deal for Price Bailey, said tax planning had been key to securing a successful outcome.

“We were engaged as lead advisors to manage the sale process, which included liaising with solicitors, a pension fund, acquirers IVC, insurance brokers, and also HMRC, as a restructure was needed as part of the process,” explained Stephen.

“We worked closely with the clients to develop a sequence of events for various parts of the transaction. We were able to deliver expert independent advice, provide a dedicated member of our team with experience of working within a veterinary consolidator as a key point of contact to fully project manage the sales process resulting in a deal that was designed in a tax-efficient manner.”

Price Bailey has provided business tax planning advice for Derbyshire Veterinary Services – who were represented in the sale by James Sage at FBC Manby Bowdler LLP solicitors – as well as providing personal tax planning services for each of the vets and their partners.

Quote from Derbyshire Veterinary Services;

‘‘As well as the professional approach of Price Bailey ensuring that we achieved the best price, and the most tax efficient process, the individuals at Price Bailey were invaluable for their calm and thoughtful demeanour in all areas of discussion and negotiation. The reassurance of having them available throughout the sale took a lot of the pressure away from us in the business.’’

8th May: Price Bailey takes lead role in CMS sale to Savills

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team have played a lead role in securing the successful sale of Central Management Solutions (CMS) Ltd, the urban and commercial district transformation specialists, to international property advisor Savills.

CMS was set up in 2011 by Paul Clement, and has worked with local authorities and town centre management organisations across the country, providing innovative support through the development and management of town and city centres, retail and leisure complexes, commercial areas, and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). It has offices in Ipswich, London and Nottingham.

Paul decided to sell the company following several years of growth, and approached leading regional accountants and business advisers Price Bailey to find a suitable buyer, prepare all necessary documentation, and provide full support during the sale.

Savills is one of the world’s leading property advisors with offices across Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. CMS has immediate synergies with Savills property management division, particularly in terms of its retail, marketing and commercialisation services. CMS CEO Paul Clement will assume a new role for his business at Savills as head of place shaping.

Paul Clement, CMS said: “Price Bailey have managed the sale process extremely well, enabling us to focus on the day to day running of the business. We are truly grateful for the advice and support received.”

Price Bailey partner Stephen Reed, who led the Strategic Corporate Finance team’s work on the deal, said: “We are delighted to have helped reach a successful outcome for Paul and his team at CMS. From the outset, Paul’s number one requirement was that of future security for the excellent team he had developed since starting CMS in 2011. We are confident that in joining Savills, the team will continue to grow from strength to strength”

25th April: Price Bailey takes lead role in PSI Holdings’ Dubai deal

Price Bailey has played a key role in providing advice and expertise to international e-assessment specialists PSI Holdings, enabling the company to complete its acquisition of Dubai-based Innovative HR Solutions (IHS).

PSI, whose main UK office is in Royston, Hertfordshire, is one of the world’s largest certification, e-learning and talent assessment providers. It operates in over 160 countries and delivers 13 million assessments annually in more than 50 languages.

The company’s global headquarters are in Glendale, California, with further offices across the US as well as Europe and the Philippines. PSI is also looking to strengthen its operation in the Middle East, and the acquisition of IHS is another important step towards that aim.

IHS is one of the largest teams of occupational psychologists and learning and development specialists in the Gulf. The company works with organisations to select, assess and develop talent and teams, and support organisational development through strategic HR frameworks. Its staff have assessed and developed young talent through to senior executives in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan as well as Europe.

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team carried out financial and tax due diligence enquiries into IHS on behalf of PSI, as well as being the lead advisers for PSI to ensure the deal went to completion.

Simon Blake, Partner and head of the Strategic Corporate Finance team, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to take such a key role in this deal, which will give PSI a strong base within the United Arab Emirates, and indeed the Middle East, to build on their continuing development in the region. The acquisition was a cross-border deal that required on-site analysis in Dubai (UAE) by our team as well as lead advisory services.

“This is the third project we have advised on for PSI, further strengthening our relationship with a client who views appropriate acquisitions as an essential element of their development strategy. We look forward to working closely with the team at PSI in the future.”

Steve Tapp, CEO at PSI said: “This acquisition will continue PSI’s global growth strategy, further strengthening our offering with an established and very experienced team in the Middle East. We are excited by the opportunity to expand our reach with such a trusted brand. Janet Garcia (President of PSI International) and the rest of the international team are looking forward to welcoming their new colleagues.”

Amanda White, Managing Director of IHS, added: “We look forward to the next stage of our journey as a part of PSI’s exciting strategy. Our deep regional expertise together with the world-class PSI assessment technology will enable us to address some of the key customer challenges, providing solutions that merge content, technology and consulting expertise.”

Price Bailey has a strong international presence, working regularly with clients and on potential mergers and acquisitions across Europe as well as in America, the Middle East and Africa. The company also has offices in the Caribbean and the Channel Island, and Managing Director Martin Clapson was last year unanimously elected Global Chairman of IAPA, the international association of independent accounting and business advisory firms.

19th April: Price Bailey announce new Tax Partner appointment

Price Bailey have announced the appointment of Richard Grimster as Partner with effect from 1 April 2018, with a total number of 27 Partners across ten offices.

The promotion strengthens one of the firm’s core practice areas; the Tax team has seen significant growth over the last 12 months increasing fees by over 32% to circa £2.7m in total. This has been achieved in part by an increase in headcount of 15% including the appointment of three Tax Managers and a Tax Director last year.

Price Bailey now has a dedicated Tax Partner in each of their main locations, with Richard taking over leadership of the significant Tax offering in Cambridge, drawing from his knowledge of advising family businesses as well as larger corporates on a range of international, capital and transactional taxes which complements our Strategic Corporate Finance offering. The promotion further cements the firms’ commitment for its clients to have access to specialists in tax and other advisory areas.

Martin Clapson, Managing Director, said: “Our firm is growing rapidly in all divisions, including Tax and this success is largely down to our dedicated and enthusiastic people. Richard has shown a great deal of commitment to Price Bailey, this appointment is in recognition of his high level of enthusiasm and technical expertise – he really does care about the firm and its clients. These characteristics are very welcome amongst the Partner team, indeed welcome all around the firm.”

23rd March: Price Bailey advises NVM on Primal Pantry deal

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team have worked closely with clients NVM Private Equity to enable the company to complete a £3m investment deal in health-conscious snack specialists The Primal Pantry.

Founded by Suzie Walker in 2014 at her kitchen table, Primal Bars are now sold in over 7,000 distribution points in the UK including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-operative and WH Smith Travel. NVM’s investment will be targeted at growing retail distribution and in-store visibility along with driving brand awareness through consumer marketing channels. With The Primal Pantry’s vision to be the world’s most trusted real food brand, NVM’s backing will enable the company to continue to innovate and reach increasing numbers of consumers.

Price Bailey completed financial and tax due diligence in to The Primal Pantry on behalf of NVM, as well as reviewing the financial model for the company going forward, to include commercial sensitivity analysis.

Charlie Pidgeon, Investment Manager of NVM Private Equity, said the company was “extremely excited” about backing The Primal Pantry: “In a short period of time the business has built a strong and recognisable brand and has accumulated an impressive roster of retailers stocking its products. Having been impressed with the team’s achievements to date, we believe the business has the potential to become a category leader in the rapidly growing healthy snacking sector.”

The Primal Pantry founder Suzie Walker added: “We are incredibly delighted to be welcoming NVM on our journey to becoming a leading and trusted real food brand. With their backing we can take The Primal Pantry to the next level, ensuring more consumers have the opportunity to try our products and encouraging them to make better food choices.”

As well as growing The Primal Pantry’s retail distribution and in-store visibility, NVM’s investment will also enable the company to target social media, PR and sampling channels to increase brand awareness.

Price Bailey Partner Simon Blake, who led the Strategic Corporate Finance team’s work on the deal, said: “We’re very happy to have been able to play a key role in this deal, which should be an extremely good fit for both parties. NVM Private Equity has a history of backing innovative branded food businesses, and are very active in the market at the moment – this is their third growth capital investment of 2018. And The Primal Pantry is just the sort of award-winning, innovative challenger brand in which NVM’s investment can make a real difference.”

15th March: Price Bailey advises on sale of National haulage and fleet solutions provider

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team recently assisted with a partial acquisition of Suretrans Limited, a haulage and fleet solutions provider, by property investment specialists Lousada PLC.

Suretrans are national suppliers of LGV/HGV vehicles and drivers, operating from their East Anglian head office. Founded in 1997 by Nick Vinyard with one vehicle, the Company has grown steadily and organically during the last 21 years to the 35 strong fleet of vehicles it maintains and operates today.

Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance team assisted Suretrans with sale mandate services during the sale of Nick Vinyard’s shares to Lousada PLC. Price Bailey also worked alongside legal advisers Shakespeare Martineau and Birketts throughout the remaining stages of the transaction.

Stephen Reed, Partner at Price Bailey said: “We are pleased that we were able to secure the deal quickly with Lousada, to the satisfaction of all parties. At the outset we identified and approached a number of suitable trade and financial buyers and during ongoing discussions, introductions were made to property investment specialists Lousada.”

Stephen continued: “Within a short timeframe, we were able to assist the parties to negotiate and agree a deal allowing Nick Vinyard to exit the company on completion with Lee Pyke, fellow director and shareholder of Suretrans, remaining within the business. We wish both parties all the best in their future endeavours.”

Nick Vinyard, former shareholder and Managing Director at Suretrans said: “Price Bailey provided an excellent service throughout the transaction. The team were quick to respond, driving the deal forward and providing professional advice when it mattered. Most importantly, their advice helped us to arrive at a suitable deal much sooner than expected.”

9th March: Price Bailey advise on £10m research and development acquisition

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team assisted with the successful £10m sale of Discuva Limited (‘Discuva’) to Summit Therapeutics plc (‘Summit’), a UK and US-listed drug discovery and development company.

Summit, headquartered in Oxfordshire obtained an innovative research and development platform through its acquisition of Discuva, a privately held UK-based company. Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance and Tax teams assisted with sale mandate and tax services.

The acquisition expands Summit’s interests in infectious diseases. The Company is now better placed to advance additional potential drug treatments for patients with serious bacterial infections where there is substantial unmet need, while in parallel continuing to advance its clinical and research programme in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Mr Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Summit said: “With the acquisition, Summit is positioned as a leader in the research and development of new classes of antibiotics. Using this platform, we aim to generate a pipeline of new mechanism of action antibiotics that address other serious infectious disease threats.”

Simon Blake, Partner and Head of Strategic Corporate Finance at Price Bailey commented: “This latest transaction highlights our continued success and expertise in completing Merger and Acquisition deals within Cambridge as well as our international reach. Discuva’s new technology in the antibiotics field was an attractive proposition for Summit because of the infectious disease research they are carrying out, and the platform they have created for new drug discovery,” Simon continued “Cambridge is an attractive place internationally, and it’s a place where real knowledge creation happens.”

Tax Director Richard Grimster said: “I’m really pleased to have been able to deliver the transactions alongside the management team of Discuva for them and the owners. It was a really interesting deal, with a tight timeline and with a number of complexities which we enjoyed overcoming, alongside the legal advisers Taylor Vinters.”

Summit acquired 100% of the issued share capital of Discuva. The consideration to Discuva shareholders comprised of £5.0 million in cash and £5.0 million in new ordinary shares of Summit.

27th February: Price Bailey named in The Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For 2018

We are delighted to be recognised by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in their 2018 survey.

Listed at number 77 within The Sunday Times 18th annual ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ in the mid-size category, East Anglian based chartered accountants and business advisers also received the Best Companies™ 2 Star accreditation, recognising outstanding employee engagement.

A total of 799 organisations registered to take part and the views of 261,559 employees determined the rankings, making it the largest survey of workplace engagement in the UK. Both employees and management took part to ensure a holistic view of the organisation’s HR policies and practices from across a wide range of organisations such as recruitment, construction, charity, advertising or accountancy.

Nadia Khan, Human Resources Partner at Price Bailey said: “I am really proud to be part of a firm that places its exceptional people and wonderful clients above everything else. Being recognised by The Sunday Times as a Top 100 Company to Work For is testament to this approach. Thank you to the all the incredible people that make up Price Bailey, it is an amazing achievement for the firms 80th anniversary year.”

Martin Clapson, Managing Director at Price Bailey added: “This was Price Bailey’s first time completing The Sunday Times b-Heard survey and we are delighted to have been listed within the Top 100. I feel particularly proud that our people think that that Price Bailey is a great place to work.”

“Our profile within The Sunday Times listing highlights our focus on leadership, personal growth and offering a fair deal; we are driving a number of initiatives on all elements of employee engagement so that we can continue to improve.”

15th February: Price Bailey advise on acquisition for major food manufacturer

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team recently assisted with a successful acquisition for Pioneer Foods (UK) Limited, manufacturers of own-label and branded breakfast cereals to major UK and international food retailers.

Pioneer Foods (UK) Limited is the UK arm of Pioneer Foods, one of the largest producers and distributors of food and beverage products in South Africa. Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance team advised Pioneer on their recent acquisition of The Good Carb Food Company, owners of granola brand Lizi’s, providing due diligence, lead advisory and tax advisory services.

Granola is one of the fastest growing products within the UK breakfast cereal market and the acquisition of The Good Carb Food Company aligns with the company’s overall strategic plan; to strengthen their existing branded product portfolio. Having acquired Stream Foods, the UK producer of children’s snacking brand Fruit Bowl in 2016 (a deal also advised by Price Bailey,) this most recent acquisition will help the group to realise its future aspirations for growth.

Simon Blake, Partner at Price Bailey said: “This latest transaction highlights our continued success and expertise in completing Merger and Acquisition deals within the food and beverage sector. We expect our relationship with Pioneer to continue as they seek to explore further strategic growth opportunities.”

Jonathon Thorn, Managing Director at Pioneer Foods (UK) Limited commented: “The acquisition of the Lizi’s brand is a good fit within the Pioneer group product and brand portfolio mix, we as a team are excited about the future growth opportunities that a granola brand will bring to the group. Price Bailey’s Strategic Corporate Finance team have been our trusted advisers for several years, in assisting us in achieving our growth aspirations through multiple strategic acquisitions.”

Tax Director Richard Grimster says: “I’m really pleased to have been able to deliver the transaction alongside the finance team in Pioneer UK. It was a really interesting deal, with a tight timeline and significant tax complexities which we enjoyed overcoming.”


31st July: Price Bailey advise on sale of property portfolio

The Price Bailey Strategic Corporate Finance team recently led the successful sale of property investment company Aston Lloyd Limited to commercial property acquirers The Hacking Partnership Plc.

Founded in 2002, Aston Lloyd Limited’s property portfolio consisted of a number of investment sites across Luton and Southend-on-Sea, including a selection of one and two bedroom residential flats, commercial units and a residential car park.

Price Bailey acted as lead adviser and worked with the company to target a range of potential buyers. Ross Bennett, Corporate Finance Executive at Price Bailey said: “We developed a confidential, robust buyer targeting process. Utilising our internal and external professional contacts within the property market we were able to quickly identify a range of suitable buyers.”

“With this approach, we were able to secure multiple offers from potential buyers and following further negotiations we successfully secured an acceptable offer for our client with a fully motivated purchaser who offered the full consideration paid in cash on completion.”

Glenn Scarborough of Aston Lloyd Limited commented: “Price Bailey has managed this process efficiently and professionally. You only get to sell your business once, so it is important to have advisers who are experts in what they do, providing support and advice every step of the way.”

Legal advice to the shareholders was provided by Ashley Reeback and Stephanie Brigg at Howard Kennedy.

25th May: Price Bailey announces two partner appointments

Price Bailey has announced the appointment of two new partners, increasing the total number of partners to 29 across nine offices throughout East Anglia, London and the Channel Islands.

William Wilson will join Price Bailey as partner following the recent merger with local firm Sandcroft Management Services, based in Sawston near Cambridge.

William said: “Our firms have worked closely together for many years and I am delighted to be joining Price Bailey as a partner. Our focus on providing approachable and people-oriented services is clearly reflected in their ethos, whilst our existing client base will greatly benefit from Price Bailey’s innovation and growth in the market.”

Jamie Gladstone has been promoted to partner after joining the firm as a senior manager 13 years ago. Jamie heads the Finance and IT teams, managing a combined team of 12 people.

Jamie said: “My recent appointment as Head of IT will ensure that we get the most out of our investment in technology, with the strategy being aimed at enabling users to work as effectively as possible, whether at a desk or on the move, supporting our ‘Smart Working’, flexible working initiative to improve team engagement and financial performance.”

Martin Clapson, Managing Director, said: “The firm is growing rapidly and has just achieved its most profitable year to date. A big part of this success is down to the exceptional client care offered by our highly trained and engaged team. These promotions will bring new ideas and experience to the partnership, giving fresh perspectives to help guide the firm’s future plans for further growth and development.”


15th April: Price Bailey Grows Partner Team

Chartered accountant and business adviser Price Bailey has promoted Chris Godsave to Partner in the Business Services team, based in its City of London office.

In his new role Chris will play an integral part in ensuring the continued growth of the firm’s Business Services offering with a particular focus on the City of London office.

Chris has been with Price Bailey for 20 years and trained and qualified with the firm. During this time Chris has worked in four different offices including the firm’s Mayfair and City offices. In 2007 he was part of the original team that relocated to establish the firm’s first London office and in 2009 transferred departments to the Business Services team to establish the City Business team.

He has worked across both the Business and Corporate teams and with strong links to the Business Strategy department. He is currently a member of the Price Bailey professionals, healthcare and technology sector teams and is also an accredited Business Strategy Facilitator.

Chris has always focussed his efforts on providing a wide range of services and solutions in a structured manner to businesses to enable the stakeholders to achieve their personal goals. In doing so he has gained many years experience in servicing companies of all sizes in a variety of sectors, from compliance work through to business development projects.

“I’m delighted to have been promoted to Partner,” said Chris. “Having worked at the firm for many years I have been lucky enough to be a part of the evolution and growth of the practice from a regional East Anglian firm to its current position.  Price Bailey is a rapidly growing practice and has developed a reputation as one of the leading and most innovative practices which has lead to a huge level of client satisfaction. I look forward to playing a part in its continued growth and development.”

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