YORK-based accountants and business advisers have successfully helped secure a management buy-out of a data service company.

Garbutt+ Elliott corporate finance partner, Tariq Javaid and his team advised Qbase founders, Ian and Anita Jonhstone, on the sale of a 77.8 per cent majority ownership of the company to a four-strong management team.

Ian and Anita Johnstone, who keep a minority share holding, will retain seats on the board and advise the new owners, led by Rob Jones, who aims to grow the North West business by 20 per cent annually with a £10m target turnover by 2025, partly by broadening its product and sector reach.

Tariq said: “Qbase is another example of a deal advised by Garbutt + Elliott outside our Yorkshire heartland and we are delighted to have played a role in helping Ian and Anita Johnstone sell their majority ownership to a dynamic young management team which will continue Qbase’s growth in an expanding UK market. The outlook for the 2020 deals market looks positive as we now have political stability, which takes some of the nervousness out of the financial markets.

"We are discussing exit strategies with several vendors who, rather than following the traditional route of selling to trade, are taking a bigger interest in vendor-initiated MBOs which allow them to retire, bring through the next generation of management, while retaining some interest in the business they have built.“

Garbutt + Elliott’s 11-strong corporate finance team operates from its York and Leeds offices, and manages deals throughout the UK across a range of commercial sectors.