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Tue June 22 2021

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Consultant explores franchise route to growth

22 Aug 16 Construction and property consultant Baqus Group has been bought out by its management team and is now planning national expansion, possibly through selling franchises.

Alistair Pike from Lloyds Bank (left) and Baqus chief exec Rob McNeill
Alistair Pike from Lloyds Bank (left) and Baqus chief exec Rob McNeill

Liverpool-based Baqus Group is targeting acquisitions in the sector for what it calls a buy-and-build strategy. It is also looking to develop a franchise model that will see smaller firms join the Baqus brand.

The move has been supported by a £1.2m funding package from Lloyd Bank Commercial Banking.

Baqus provides quantity surveyors, project managers, employer’s agents, building surveyors, principal designer advisors and CDM consultancy services to the construction industry.

The management team behind the buyout is led by chief executive Rob McNeill, supported by Jim O’Brien, Brian Williams, Ray Palmer, Paul Warburton, Aidan Lewis and Andy Welch.

Rob McNeill said: “This is the right time for the MBO because several of the founding directors were looking to retire and this option was considered to be the best proposal for all existing shareholders, our clients and rising talent within the business.

“Going forward, it means we have a new, much younger executive team with equity in the business, which will look to consolidate initially and then grow via acquisitions.

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“We are also reviewing a franchised model to offer the many smaller firms in our sector the option to join the Baqus Brand.

“Lloyds Bank provided approximately 30% of the funding, but more importantly provided guidance and commercial understanding of our needs in the short and medium term”.

Baqus was founded in 2007 and has 72 staff across offices in Liverpool, London, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Canterbury, Chichester, Manchester, Oxford and Winchester.

The £6m turnover firm, which was previously listed on the alternative investment market (AIM) until 2011, was created from the merger of construction consultants Fletcher McNeill, Boxall Sayer and Denley King.

Baqus clients include hotel chains Premier Inn and Travelodge, and theme park group Merlin. It also works with most of the UK’s leading pub operators, KFC and the Co-op.

Alistair Pike, SME relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said “The MBO at Baqus means it has a top team that is motivated and well placed to grow and ensure that the group achieves its full potential.”

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