JSA Consulting Engineers (JSA) was a structural and civil consulting engineers practice with a high single-client dependency. The firm specialised in major residential projects typically spanning 10-15 years.

JSA’s director and sole shareholder, Mark Hughes, was looking to retire. He was introduced to Avondale through the annual Buying and Selling seminar at the Institute of Directors (IoD) and engaged the firm to lead the sale project. To complicate matters, 70% of JSA’s revenues were derived from a single client, a major house builder, with whom Mr Hughes personally held the relationship.

Drawing on its global network, Avondale was able to generate a significant buyer interest. A shortlist of 20 parties was drawn up, and face-to-face meetings were held with three prospective acquirers, each submitting offers for JSA. The successful bid belonged to a rival consulting engineers practice, Patrick Parsons. It was agreed that Mr Hughes would stay on with the business temporarily to manage the post-sale transition and ensure a smooth handover of the key account.

Heads of Terms were signed off and the deal was swiftly concluded. A key element of the deal was that the sale value was based on turnover rather than profit, which was linked to the performance of the merged company rather than that of JSA alone. This highly innovative approach meant that the final headline price more than met Mr Hughes original expectations.