Clear Edge sets sights on the future after co-founders complete MBO

The co-founders of Clear Edge Search & Selection Ltd have completed a Management Buyout of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), iGaming and technology sectors specialist staffing business.

Terry Batty and Tom Fox, who established the Leeds-based business in 2011 have acquired the shareholding of corporate shareholder CSG and now own 100% of the company.

CSG, which is an international staffing and executive search business with more than 200 employees across seven offices on four continents, supported the establishment of Clear Edge by providing the co-founders with capital investment, along with training, IT, accountancy, finance and back-office services.

This enabled the business to build its presence in the consumer goods and digital sectors placing candidates in roles from middle management to board level.  Clear Edge has developed particular market expertise in the food, drinks, consumer durables and health, beauty & household product sectors.

The business has also expanded into the sports betting and iGaming sectors and has established a dedicated division, Clear Edge Betting & Gaming to service these fast-growing markets.

As a result, Clear Edge has grown significantly and has been able to build in-house accountancy, finance and compliance capabilities, facilitating the opportunity for the MBO.

Secured with funding provided by HSBC, the MBO provides Terry and Tom with autonomous ownership of Clear Edge, enabling them to implement the next stage of its scale-up strategy to increase its share in its key markets.

Corporate finance advice for the founding shareholders was provided by Newcastle-based RG Corporate Finance (RGCF), led-by Partner and Head of Corporate Finance, Carl Swansbury and Corporate Finance Assistant Ben Kain.

Tax advice was provided by RG Business Tax Director Liz Rothery with legal advice from Gordons.  Legal advice for CSG was provided by Shoosmiths.

Terry Batty, Director of Clear Edge, said: “The support provided by CSG has been an invaluable part of the development of the business and has enabled our team to focus on delivering world class services to our clients and candidates.  We have enjoyed positive growth in our core markets as FMCG continues to be a cornerstone of the UK economy and we look forward to the next stage of our scale-up journey.”

Wayne Underwood, Co-Owner of CSG, said: “The investment and guidance we have provided Clear Edge created the fundamental building blocks required to establish and grow the business and we are proud of the progress the business has made. As a result, we are confident that the business is now in a position to stand independently under the effective leadership and ownership of Terry and Tom.” 

Ben Riley, Co-Owner of CSG, said: “This MBO enables Clear Edge to now follow its own path, and the investment and support we have provided over the years has been a huge success, proving to be mutually beneficial. It is an exciting time for both businesses as we continue to invest and grow. We sincerely wish Clear Edge continued success and we will remain in close contact and available to offer help if ever required. “

Ben Kain, CF Assistant at RGCF, said: “The relationship between Clear Edge and CSG is a great example of the positive results that can come from the combination of start-up entrepreneurs and an established corporate organisation.  The relationship has ensured Clear Edge has a solid foundation for future growth, building upon its position in the dynamic consumer goods and digital sectors. Carl and I have really enjoyed advising Terry and Tom on this MBO and we wish them well as they look to scale the business over the coming years.”

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