Nair & Co, the Bristol-based overseas business specialist, has been acquired by private equity investor HgCapital for an undisclosed sum.
Nair, which employs 450 staff at its Lewins Mead headquarters and in offices in the US, Singapore, Japan and China, provides legal, accounting, payroll, tax and human resources services to companies looking to expand overseas.
Nair & Co was launched in 1994 by Dr Shan Nair, a nuclear scientist who retrained as an accountant, and Vyoma Nair, a finance professional seasoned in solving overseas expansion issues. They channelled their experience into a service that went on to create a new niche in the outsourcing industry.
By 1999 the pair had transformed Nair & Co into a fast-growing company with a rapidly-increasing employee base and aggressive focus on business development. The firm opened its first overseas office in the US in 2001 as it continued to bring its expertise to new regions and markets.
Today the firm’s 4,000-plus clients are spread across more than 50 countries and it is ranked among the world’s top 100 outsourcing providers by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.
HgCapital’s acquisition of Nair is its fourth in the past three years. HgCapital, based in London and Munich and with assets under management of £5.6bn, said Nair had all the characteristics that it looks for in an investment – it is a leader in a highly-fragmented market with real growth potential, a large and diversified client base, and a significant and predictable proportion of repeat business.
HgCapital partner and head of its services team Matthew Rourke said: “We have been researching this market segment for four years, and specifically following the progress of Nair & Co for over two years, so we are delighted we have been able to agree this investment with Shan Nair, the business co-founder.
“Companies are increasingly looking to expand into international markets but do not have the expertise or market knowledge to do so quickly or efficiently. Nair & Co specifically addresses this challenge and guides companies through the process. We see real growth potential for the company as more companies take advantage of the unique services Nair & Co offers.”
Nair co-founder Shan Nair added: “HgCapital is a dynamic fast-moving UK private equity house with an excellent track record of successfully investing in growth businesses. Nair & Co’s one-stop business model for international expansion is highly attractive to international companies. The combination of our talents and resources arising from this transaction will ensure we retain our industry-leading position while also enabling us to further enhance and broaden the quality services we offer our clients while taking our business up to the next level and fast tracking our growth rate.
Mark Taylor and Helen Dixon, from Grant Thornton’s Bristol transaction advisory services team provided financial due diligence to Nair & Co while Allister Weir and Lee Waterson provided tax due diligence.