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MBO bid at Parkman

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SENIOR MANAGEMENT at Parkman have launched a management buyout, NCE learned this week.

The MBO group being led by Parkman chairman Richard Archer includes directors John Handley, Ian Howitt, John Jones, Graham Kilner and company secretary Richard Preece. Finance is being provided by venture capital firm Gresham Funds.

The group, which has named itself Fleet, has sent out a circular to all 600 plus Parkman shareholders, largely consisting of staff past and present. They are being offered £3.20 for each share.

The buyout group sent out the offer two weeks ago having already gained 'irrevocable' acceptances from 56% of shareholders, meaning that the shares cannot be sold to anyone else. Fleet needs to gain the acceptance of shareholders holding 90% of the stock by 15 May to complete the MBO.

Group business development director John Handley declined to make any comment on the MBO before 15 May, including whether or not Fleet had secured the significant shareholding of former chairman Hugh Parkman, the last family member to lead the firm.

This year's NCE Consultants File shows that Parkman has a total of 866 staff - an increase of 3.5% on the previous year. Fees stood at £31M, a 6.9% rise.

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