Workspace design experts build for the future following MBO


12-03-2021
(From left to right) Alistair Rumbelow, Group CEO; Jerry Overhill, Group Operations Director; Dean Powell, Group MEP Director; Neil Cook, Group Director; Barnaby Clark, Group Sales and Marketing Director; David Williams, Group FD

COEL, a leading office design and fit-out specialist, has completed a management buyout (MBO), maintaining the stability and family ethos of the company. The new leadership team is in a strong position to continue building the company’s growth and innovation credentials. PEM Corporate Finance acted as lead adviser on the MBO.

Cambridge-headquartered COEL, which is renowned for creating agile and innovative workspaces, has prestigious local businesses such as Bidwells, Jagex, and Raspberry Pi on its client roster.

The company has its origins as a drylining subcontractor, founded by Neil Cook as Cambridge Partitions in 1986. There was a pivot to office interiors so Cambridge Office Environments Limited (COEL) was born and has over time added other complimentary service lines, such as a heating and plumbing, office furniture, commercial relocation, storage services, and property maintenance.

The MBO sees a highly experienced team of board members taking control of the company from majority shareholders Neil Cook and Dan Brown. Dan fully exits to focus on other projects whilst Neil’s expertise will be retained on the board, concentrating on networking and sales.

Neil said, “I am delighted that their continued investment is recognised in the restructure, and in doing so it ensures the continued COEL culture and integrity of the brand. I am very proud to be part of the new team and look forward to working with my existing and new clients.”

Alistair Rumbelow, Group CEO, said, “The new team will galvanise COEL's position as a market leader in providing property services, workplace design and innovation. I’m grateful to the team at PEM Corporate Finance for their insight in structuring the deal, helping us to align the interests of all those involved at COEL, and guiding us through the process.”

The MBO process was led by Philip Olagunju, Director at PEM Corporate Finance and supported by Ned Brown and Lake Falconer.

Philip said of the transaction, “We’re delighted to have advised on this deal. Neil and Dan have developed a business with a real family-feel, with its roots very much in Cambridge. It’s great to have facilitated the sale to COEL’s existing management team, with Cambridge-based corporate finance, tax and legal advisers on the transaction. We wish the Vendors, the MBO team and everyone at COEL every success in the future.”

Legal advice was provided by James Allen and David Hollier of Birketts and Adam Bradley of Taylor Vinters.

 

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