BusinessCorporate FinanceBDO finds itself top of the class.

BDO finds itself top of the class.

Downsend School in Leatherhead, Surrey, has become the latest to be snapped up by independent school consolidator Asquith Court, thanks to BDO Stoy Hayward.

The £7.5m deal will see the school join more than 90 other private nurseries and independent schools under the umbrella of Asquith Court, a £66m secondary buy-out led by Peter Aughterson and backed by West Private Equity.

BDO’s corporate finance team, led by Peter Hemmington, carried out an auction process for the school, which with more than 1,000 pupils, is one of the largest privately-owned independent day schools in the UK.

The sale demonstrated the growing enthusiasm of venture capitalists for the education sector, who see considerable potential for growth in the area.

‘For a relatively small deal there was a phenomenal amount of interest from the private equity houses,’ Hemmington said.

BDO was already the school’s auditor, but following a beauty parade, the firm was brought in by the school’s family owners to handle the sale – the owners were essentially looking for an exit from the business as there was not an obvious succession route.

The prep school also has three nursery schools attached to it, catering for an age range of two and a half through to 13.

Downsend is the second recent deal in the education sector for BDO – it was lead adviser on the £31m management buyout at nursery business Just Learning, again backed by private equity.

‘There are some big opportunities there,’ Hemmington said.

Related Articles

Grant Thornton recruits new corporate finance partner

Accounting Firms Grant Thornton recruits new corporate finance partner

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Total fraud value at £2bn five-year high, finds BDO

Accounting Firms Total fraud value at £2bn five-year high, finds BDO

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
MHA MacIntyre Hudson appoints corporate finance director

Accounting Firms MHA MacIntyre Hudson appoints corporate finance director

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
KPMG announces senior partner promotion in Newcastle

Accounting Firms KPMG announces senior partner promotion in Newcastle

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Independent city firm reports 70% growth

Accounting Firms Independent city firm reports 70% growth

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Tax avoidance crackdown sees 80% jump in additional HMRC revenue

Accounting Firms Tax avoidance crackdown sees 80% jump in additional HMRC revenue

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Making Tax Digital: the "unexpected item in the bagging area"

Accounting Standards Making Tax Digital: the "unexpected item in the bagging area"

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer