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West Yorkshire civil engineering business acquired in succession deal advised by Garbutt + Elliott

A West Yorkshire structural design and engineering company has been acquired in a management buy out (MBO).

Paul Waite Associates, based at Cross Hills, nearly Keighley, has been bought by its former engineering manager, Paul McDonald, in a 100 per cent share acquisition for a significant but undisclosed sum, in the deal managed by Yorkshire accountants and business advisers, Garbutt + Elliott.

The MBO has allowed Paul Waite, who founded the business in Ilkley in 1988, to arrange the continuation of the business and retire.

Paul Waite Associates and its sister company, PWA Geo-Environmental, which carries out land assessments and investigations to support acquisitions and developments, have 16 staff and a £1.1m combined annual turnover.

Among services the company provides are structural design and engineering; flood risk assessments, drainage appraisals, earthwork modeling and development site highway and junction designs. The business works in sectors including bespoke residential, affordable housing, recreation, healthcare, industrial, retail and commercial, education as well as supporting the refurbishment of historic and listed buildings.

Paul McDonald, who joined the company as a graduate engineer in 2006, says: “Having been in the business for 14 years, working at all levels, I felt that the time is now right for the acquisition and I’m happy with the funding mechanism agreed with Garbutt + Elliott.

“We have strong relationships with many clients, who I know well and which provides a great platform for both PWA and all those we support. We aim to expand our knowledge across all sectors, continuing to invest in the latest technologies and our staff to continually enhance our service to clients.

“In spite of uncertainties about the economy, we have maintained a healthy level of work throughout the pandemic and this is set to be an exciting time for me and the business. To be able to progress a respected company, which has been developed during the last 32 years, is a real privilege and I’m excited about the new phase which lies ahead.”

The Garbutt + Elliott team which advised Paul Waite on the sale of the business was corporate finance partner, Tariq Javaid and business tax consultant, Steven Holmes, who advised on the tax implications of the transaction.

Tariq Javaid, based at Garbutt + Elliott’s Leeds office, says: “This was an interesting deal to ensure the continuation of this respected, home-grown West Yorkshire business. The terms of the transaction reward Paul Waite for his hard work in founding and developing the business while creating a strong platform for future growth.”

Garbutt + Elliott’s 11-strong corporate finance team, which operates from its Leeds and York offices, has managed more than 200 deals throughout the UK across a wide range of commercial sectors.