Mobeus realises three times return on sale of Ludlow to Mattioli Woods

Mobeus has agreed to sell Ludlow Wealth Management, a North West-based financial advice business, to Mattioli Woods plc, for an enterprise value of GBP36.1 million, subject to regulatory approval and completion of a share placing by Mattioli Woods. 

Mattioli Woods is an AIM-listed provider of advice on wealth management and employee benefits that is acquiring Ludlow as part of its ambitious growth plans within the wealth management sector.

Mobeus backed CEO Ian Hemingway in a GBP12 million buyout from founder Sid Ludlow in June 2017, when the business had GBP865 million of Assets under Advice (AuA). Mobeus introduced chairman Phil Young (formerly CEO of leading compliance consultancy Threesixty), finance director Gordon Flower (from UK Wealth Management) and COO Rob Brown (from RBS) to create a board capable of continuing Ludlow’s impressive growth momentum.

During the investment term, Mobeus worked with the team to deliver a GBP6.5 million refinancing with Santander in December 2018 and to make four bolt-on acquisitions, which together added GBP325 million of AuA. Ludlow’s highly-rated consultants deliver outstanding service to clients, resulting in consistent double digit organic growth through referrals and recommendations. As a result, the business has almost doubled AuA to over GBP1.6 billion in under four years. With 22 advisers, Ludlow now provides personal financial advice to over 3,300 clients.

The sale process had two objectives: to deliver strong returns for Ludlow shareholders; and to find a partner who would continue to support Ludlow consultants and clients. This transaction achieves both those aims, delivering a 3.3x money multiple for Mobeus Fund IV in under four years, whilst providing a strong partner for Ludlow for the future in Mattioli Woods, who have demonstrated an excellent commercial and strategic fit with the business and its people.

The deal is subject to normal FCA change of control approval and the completion of Mattioli Woods’ share placing announced earlier today.

Mobeus partner Justin Maltz says: “This has been a classic Mobeus success story. We backed a high quality CEO to buy the company out from its founder, built a board around him to support growth, and doubled AuA and EBITDA through both organic growth and acquisitions. We have enjoyed a very successful partnership with Ian and his team and are pleased to have found them a natural home within Mattioli Woods. We wish them every success in continuing the Ludlow story.”

Ian Hemingway, CEO of Ludlow, says: “The team at Mobeus could not have been more supportive, capable or focused on our shared vision for Ludlow over the last four years and I am truly grateful for their partnership. We look forward to maintaining our growth trajectory, as well as our strong culture and passion for quality advice, with our new partners at Mattioli Woods.”

Ian Mattioli, CEO of Mattioli Woods, adds: “We are really pleased to welcome Ludlow to Mattioli Woods. We have always focused on integration over acquisition, so a strong cultural fit was crucial. We have known Ludlow for many years now, and are excited about what we can achieve together.” 

The Ludlow shareholders, including Mobeus, were advised on the sale by Andy Claymore of DC Advisory (Corporate Finance) and Tim Hewens of Osborne Clarke (Legal).