Real Deals Report – Churchill Group Investment

12th April 2024

Soho Square’s investment in Churchill has been showcased by Real Deals

Soho Square’s investment in Churchill has been showcased as an example of a business succeeding in the East of England in Real Deals’ Private Equity Value Report 2024 available in full here.

The article covers how the East of England has a healthy number of fast-growing PE-backed businesses with the business product and services sector being the most successful making Churchill a fitting case study for the region.

 Churchill was already a £250m revenue company when it partnered with Soho Square in 2020 to de-risk the founders’ positions and prepare for new management to come in.

Soho Square co-Managing Partner Stephen Edwards led the deal and comments on how well the team managed dealing with the challenges of Covid which while complicated actually increased the demand for cleaning services and needed more creative cleaning and tech solutions than in normal times.  This was also the case with Churchill’s security services when offices, although empty, needed good security.  The growth persisted after Covid where cleaning to a higher standard has remained a priority.  Covid was not the only growth factor for Churchill however - its focused offering has resulted in better profitability than a lot of its larger competitors.

 Soho Square’s exit from Churchill in August 2023 in just three years instead of the expected five years was in the form of an Employee Ownership Trust, only possible because of how the original deal had been structured without a significant equity stake.  Soho Square’s more hybrid model of investment means that its portfolio companies don’t need to be sold as a whole for them to realise their investment allowing for refinancings or management to buy back the business.

Stephen Edwards commented, “It’s good to see Churchill recognised as an East of England success story.  We are delighted to have partnered with Churchill’s highly capable management team who 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 and it was great that they could exit to an EOT, which resulted in a full exit for Soho Square and Churchill now being fully owned by its management team and employees.”


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