Thrings negotiates sale of Financial Services 4 Schools to Juniper Education

By Anita Jaynes on 21 September, 2020

Corporate lawyers from Thrings have advised on the sale of South West education business Financial Services 4 Schools (FS4S) to Juniper Education, a leading provider of software, training and professional services to the education sector.

Swindon-based FS4S, which offers bespoke finance, payroll and HR services to schools, academies and multi-academy trusts across the UK, was acquired by Juniper Education for an undisclosed sum.

FS4S was formed by directors Lorraine Billis, Andy Madgwick, who will remain at the company during the transition, and Neil Miles in 2008 to offer bespoke financial services to schools. 

The organisation has gone from strength to strength since its inception, including the addition of support businesses Payroll Bureau Services for Schools and HR Services for Schools to its portfolio.

Juniper Education, whose headquarters is in Chelmsford, provides support services in areas such as finance, HR, payroll and pupil tracking to over 100 education establishments in the west of England and more than 4,000 schools and academies across the UK. It is backed by private equity investment firm Horizon Capital.

FS4S received legal advice from partner Simon Hore and solicitor Conor Melvin in Thrings’ Corporate team, whose work included assistance with the due diligence exercise and negotiation of the share purchase agreement.

Pinsent Masons provided legal advice to the buyer.

Lorraine said, “Our purpose in setting up FS4S was to provide excellent services for schools within their locality, putting schools at the heart of everything that we did. It was important to us to find an acquirer who shared these values and we firmly believe we have found this in Juniper Education. 

“Equally important to us was receiving legal advice from a firm that was known and respected both locally and nationally, that gave us the opportunity to meet face-to-face wherever possible and offered us constant support via phone and email during the lockdown period. We are grateful to Simon and Conor for providing us with an excellent service and giving us as much time and attention as we needed.”

Simon added, “Key to the success of this transaction was Lorraine, Andy and Neil’s decision to approach Thrings at the very start of their sale journey. Being able to discuss and understand FS4S’ commercial objectives, and explain the various processes involved with the deal, provided invaluable planning and preparation time which ensured they knew what to expect from a legal perspective.

“The due diligence exercise was carried out efficiently, to the benefit of all parties and, despite taking place during lockdown, without any unnecessary delays. On behalf of everyone at Thrings, I would like to wish Lorraine, Andy, Neil and the staff at FS4S all the very best for the future.”

Pictured above: Simon Hore, who led the deal on behalf of Thrings