An ownership shake-up is on the way for a string of north-east companies as Mattioli Woods makes a potential £100 million swoop for private equity firm Maven Capital Partners.
Maven’s oil and gas-focused portfolio has reduced in size in recent years, but the company still counts EFC Group, FIS Chemicals, Glacier Energy Services, MSIS Group, R&M Engineering and Whiterock Group – all familiar names in the North Sea industry – among its investments.
Maven managing partner Bill Nixon insisted it would be business as usual for all of these firms if Mattioli Woods’ acquisition gets the nod from shareholders.
“All of our team will still be in place and all our members on the company boards will still be there,” he added.
Firm’s roots are in the Granite City
Maven currently has only a single consultant working in Aberdeen, managing interests in all the north-east companies.
The private equity firm – now with 10 offices throughout the UK – was launched in 2009 after a buyout of Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM)’s private equity business.
Co-founders included Jock Gardiner, a well-kent face in north-east business circles, who started his career as an accountant with KPMG before joining AAM’s private equity team.
Maven now has more than £660m of assets under management and available to invest.
Mr Nixon said the acquisition by Mattioli Woods in a cash and shares deal worth up to £100m, including a performance-related sum of up to £20m, would create new opportunities for Maven’s team, particularly in property investing.
“This is an incredibly positive deal for us,” he said, adding: “It allows us to take the next step of our natural evolution.”
Completion ‘within weeks’
The proposed acquisition has obtained regulatory approval and formal completion is expected to happen within weeks.
Mr Nixon said: “Since being established in 2009, Maven has grown year-on-year, developed innovative new products and income lines, and become one of the UK’s most active and dynamic alternative asset managers, supporting more than 400 companies over that period.
“Over the past 12 years we have grown from 22 people to a headcount of almost 100 colleagues, and now have a presence in key cities across the UK.
“We are immensely proud of our progress to date, and finding the right partner who shares our ambition and who will help us grow the business further has been a key objective for myself and my fellow Maven partners.”
He added: “Culturally this acquisition represents an excellent fit. We have known the senior executive team at Mattioli Woods for many years.
“Both businesses have admired the respective progress achieved by the other over the past decade, and this coming together represents the logical next step in the creation of a market-leading specialist wealth management, investment and advisory business.”
Mattioli Woods employs 600 people across 11 offices around the UK, including in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It boasts assets under advice and administration in excess of more than £10 billion.
Ian Mattioli, chief executive, said: “This deal marks a significant milestone in Mattioli Woods’ journey.
“We have a strong track record of combining like-minded businesses that share the same culture and ethos of putting clients first.
“The team at Maven share our passion for delivering exceptional client outcomes and going the extra mile.
“Throughout our discussions with Bill Nixon at Maven, it has been apparent that we share a desire to continue growing the enlarged group, further enhancing our client proposition and delivering sustainable shareholder returns.”
Mattioli Woods is also acquiring Ludlow Wealth Management, a financial planning business in north-west England, in a deal worth up to £43.5m. Ludlow boasts total assets under advice of £1.6bn.