London, 15 August 2023: Soho Square Capital LLP (“Soho Square”), an investment firm focused on serving the financing needs of established and growing UK and European SMEs, announced that following a period of transformational growth it has exited its investment in Churchill Group (“Churchill” or “the Company”), comprised of UK based specialist businesses in the facilities management industry, to an Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”).
Since Soho Square invested in Churchill in 2020, the business has won considerable market share and undergone a period of significant organic growth, which has seen EBITDA almost double. This above-plan growth has enabled Churchill to fully exit Soho Square from its investment after a hold period of just three years. The sale is to an EOT which sees the business return to full employee ownership.
Churchill, founded in 1988, is a rapidly growing UK-based facilities management company providing cleaning, security, catering and environmental consultancy services across the education, rail & transport, public sector, corporate and property management sectors.
This is the third exit from Soho Square’s latest institutional fund. The Churchill deal structure was typical of the types of customised investments that Soho focuses on, providing flexible capital with dedicated portfolio company support, whilst also minimising equity dilution to leave Founders in control of their Company.
Stuart Hamilton, Principal at Soho Square Capital, commented:
“Having been investors in Churchill since March 2020, we are delighted to have partnered with Churchill’s highly capable management team who have delivered transformational growth well ahead of plan. When Churchill’s founding team explored early exit options, Soho Square’s minority equity structure enabled the Company to have greater choice of exit routes than would be the case with more traditional private equity structures. We are delighted to see them complete the exit to an EOT, which results in a full exit for Soho Square and Churchill now being fully owned by its management team and employees. We wish Joel, Phil, James and the whole Churchill team the very best for a successful future.”
James Bradley, Group CEO of Churchill, commented:
“Churchill is proud of its difference in the FM market, achieving significant growth over 30 years. The EOT is a natural transition as it continues our unique culture and retains our values of doing right, seeking better and putting people first. Our colleagues are what makes Churchill’s specialist businesses so successful which is why our founders wanted it to be them who should share in the future success. It was hugely important for us to find a partner that shared our long-term ambitious vision for Churchill. In Soho Square we found that support and over the past three years we have worked tirelessly to deliver rapid and resilient growth.”
Soho Square’s deal team was led by Stephen Edwards (Co-Managing Partner) and Stuart Hamilton (Principal), with Portfolio Management support provided by Gail Bamforth. Soho Square and Churchill were advised by Grant Thornton (corporate finance), Shoosmith’s (legal) and PWC (financial due diligence).
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About Soho Square Capital
Soho Square Capital is an investment firm focused on providing flexible capital solutions, typically in the form of senior or preferred capital with minority equity stakes, to established and growing UK and European SMEs. Headquartered in London, the firm is led by a highly experienced team that has been investing together for over 15 years, through many economic cycles and have the expertise and flexibility to invest up to £45 million in any given transaction, across the capital structure, from senior debt to equity. The team works closely with business owners and management teams to structure innovative, bespoke financing solutions and offer enhanced portfolio company support.