Macdonald Henderson has advised Opulus in joining forces with Wylie & Bisset, Accountants and Business Advisers, to expand its unique Chief Financial Officer (CFO) solutions offering throughout Scotland.

Macdonald Henderson has also advised Opulus on a £10 million growth capital facility to support further expansion plans of the enlarged group provided  by SME Capital, the institution founded to provide bespoke funding for established SMEs.

Macdonald Henderson’s advisory team was led by David Beveridge and Ryan Macready.

Working together, Opulus, a joint venture formed between founder Matthew Garstang and investment and advisory partnership N4 Partners to provide a range of financial and operational solutions to help SMEs grow, and Wylie & Bisset will continue building a highly-skilled, multi-disciplinary team and enable further expansion across Scotland and beyond.

Wylie & Bisset has a rich heritage dating back to its establishment in 1787 and has subsequently grown to become one of the largest independent accountancy practices in Scotland, with offices in Glasgow, Oban and Manchester.

Wylie & Bisset’s Managing Partner, Donald McKinnon, will continue in his role and will join the operating board at Opulus.

Matthew Garstang, CEO at Opulus, commented: “Our joining of forces with such a long-established practice with dedicated staff and an established client base represents a wonderful opportunity for both Opulus and Wylie & Bisset.

“Donald and his team have worked exceptionally hard to grow the practice over recent years, investing heavily in organic growth, together with succession planning for senior staff and a newly launched training academy.

“This is unquestionably a major step forward for the business and will instantly form an integral part of our group, significantly helping us to expand our unique CFO solutions offering far and wide.”

Donald McKinnon, Managing Partner at Wylie & Bisset, added: “What we are creating together with Opulus is a ‘hub and spoke’ model whereby, as full-service accountants and business advisers, we will operate as a ‘hub’ to provide a range of service lines and support to a network of regional ‘spoke’ accountancy practices within the wider Opulus group for the benefit of our clients.

“We remain fully committed to the expansion of our business and, by working alongside Opulus, can see opportunities for economies of scale to be realised through Wylie & Bisset adding value to the Opulus group structure.

“Indeed, while our origins date back to 1787, we have operated under our current name of Wylie & Bisset for some 95 years and, together with Opulus, look forward to celebrating our centenary.”

SME Capital Co-Head of Origination and Head of Portfolio Investment, Kenny Hughes, said, “Since we first met with Matthew and the teams at Opulus and N4 Partners, we immediately recognised the opportunity they had in front of them to strategically expand its unique hub and spoke offering and take a big next step forward through this key addition of Wylie & Bisset.

“We have been impressed throughout with their growth plans and are delighted we are able to support Matthew and the team and look forward to working closely with them going forward.

“This will be the largest transaction SME Capital has completed to date and builds on our commitment to continue support for growing businesses in Scotland and across the whole of the UK.“

The development follows smaller acquisitions by Opulus of Glasgow-headquartered Nicolson Accountancy, John Kerr & Co in Saltcoats, Alexander Marshall in Motherwell and Craig Cleland in East Kilbride, each acquisition advised on by Macdonald Henderson.

By joining forces, Wylie & Bisset will quadruple the Opulus workforce from 40 to some 160 employees, while Wylie & Bisset’s turnover will result in combined revenues under Opulus of circa £11million.

Opulus will shortly be rolling out its legal, HR and IT offerings to complement its existing accountancy and business advisory service lines to complete its holistic range of CFO solutions throughout Scotland.

About Macdonald Henderson, Mr Matthew Garstang, CEO at Opulus commented:

“Macdonald Henderson have supported Opulus Financial from the start, providing expert legal advice and transactional support. Their multi-disciplinary team, led by David and Ryan, worked with us throughout this complex transaction and were invaluable throughout”.

We are thrilled to have advised Matthew, Opulus and N4 on this transaction, which will see a step change in the accountancy, business advisory,  legal, HR and IT offerings of the Opulus group, to complete its holistic range of CFO solutions throughout Scotland. We wish all stakeholders in the combined business every success for the future.

Advisors to Opulus – Macdonald Henderson (legal), KPMG (accountancy and tax)

Advisors to SME – Pinsent Masons (legal)

Advisors to Wylie & Bisset – Morton Fraser (legal)