The Consortium acquires public sector business

Monday, 23rd April 2012

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The Trowbridge-based care and education supplies business has acquired WMS for an undisclosed sum from Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Telford and Wrekin councils.

WMS, which has 95 employees and a turnover of £15.5m, will now be run as an independent entity under the leadership of its former deputy managing director Elaine Keogh.

Grant Thornton’s Bristol-based corporate finance team advised The Consortium on the deal, with legal advice provided by TLT Solicitors and funding from Royal Bank of Scotland, which are also both based in Bristol.

The Consortium chief executive Melanie Teal said: “This is the first public to private transaction in the educational supplies sector for some considerable time and, thanks to the support of WMS staff and unions, it has been handled extremely professionally.

“The Consortium is delighted to have secured the future of WMS and its staff and looks forward to building on the best from both organisations.”

Mark Naughton, Grant Thornton’s head of corporate finance in the South West, added: “This was a complex and unusual transaction, being the purchase of a business out of the public sector. It is great news for The Consortium and will play a key role in helping the company to pursue its growth ambitions.”

The Consortium has 240 employees and a turnover of £45m.

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