FRP Advisory pays £7m for Hilton-Baird Group

14 May, 2024
Tony Quested
FRP Advisory Group plc, a national specialist business advisory firm with offices across the East of England, has acquired commercial finance and risk management specialists Hilton-Baird Group for £7 million.
FRP Advisory CEO Geoffrey Rowley. Courtesy – FRP Advisory.

The total consideration is split between cash of c. £5.6m, the issue of new ordinary shares worth £2.8m and a performance based earn-out.

The Hilton-Baird Group is based in Southampton and operates nationally. The business provides commercial finance and credit insurance brokerage, outsourced risk and receivables audit, as well as credit management and commercial debt collection services.

Hilton-Baird clients include independent lenders, banks, SME and corporate businesses as well as Insolvency Practitioners from across the UK and Europe.

For over 25 years, it has built trusted relationships with a notable FRP client group, Asset-Based Lenders (ABLs). It will now be able to add additional value through its existing service lines by supporting complementary FRP service pillars, including restructuring advisory and debt advisory.

This is especially relevant in the current economic climate as many ABL client portfolios experience greater risk pressures.

The company will continue to operate under the Hilton-Baird brand and sit within FRP’s Debt Advisory pillar. Four of the firm’s Directors, Alex Hilton-Baird, Evette Orams, Graham Bird, and Ian Tramaseur will join FRP as Partners, with the rest of the Hilton-Baird team comprising 36 colleagues also joining FRP.

For the year to 31 December 2023, Hilton-Baird’s consolidated unaudited revenues were £4.9m and unaudited reported EBITDA was £1.3m. It is expected that Hilton-Baird’s underlying incremental contribution to FRP in the group’s current financial year ending 30 April 2025 will be revenue of £5.2m and adjusted EBITDA of £1.4m.

Geoff Rowley, CEO of FRP Advisory said: “I have worked with Alex and the team for over 15 years and know they share our values. Their reputation in the market is for hard work, honesty and integrity in providing the highest level of service to clients.

“With a track record of over 25 years, they have built an impressive client base which is testament to the quality of their team and dynamic business model. We are delighted to welcome new FRP Partners Alex, Evette, Graham and Ian together with all other Hilton-Baird colleagues to FRP.

“This is our ninth acquisition since admission to AIM in March 2020, demonstrating the continued delivery of our strategy to generate sustainable profitable growth by combining a focus on organic growth with acquisitions that meet the group's selective criteria.

“The combination with Hilton-Baird provides opportunities to support growth across several of FRP’s service pillars and I have no doubt they will make a strong contribution to the Group, as we continue to grow profitably.”

FRP has local offices in Cambridge, Norwich, St Albans, Brentwood and Leigh-on-Sea.