Planning for the future

Jim Keeling was delighted to join a panel discussion at the National Family Business Place Conference on how family businesses can and need to plan for the future. The panel looked at options available to owners of family businesses seeking to step back from day to day management of their company.

Handing over the reins of a family owned business is undoubtedly a challenging, emotional and life changing decision. Rather than sell out to a trade buyer, Jim explained how he has helped business owners sell their shares to the next generation and/or their management team, funded by private equity or debt, and has found this option is often more palatable to family business owners who tend to feel great loyalty to their employees.

FBP Conference


Despite all the doom-mongering in the press, the value of privately owned SMEs is holding up

Corbett Keeling is delighted to publish the latest edition of UK Private Company Director, the newsletter for directors of privately owned and equity backed businesses.

Despite all the doom-mongering in the press, our report confirms that both the volume and value of SME transactions are holding up well.

Hogan Lovells considers the legal impact of Brexit on private equity.

Kleinwort Benson advises that equities currently offer better value than bonds.

Corbett Keeling advises on the sale of a minority stake in ACS, a global leader in the aircraft charter market.

Corbett Keeling is pleased to announce it has advised the founders and other shareholders of Air Charter Service Group Limited (“ACS”) on the sale of a minority stake in ACS to private equity investor Alcuin Capital Partners (“Alcuin”).

ACS is a global leader in the aircraft charter market.  Founded in 1990 by Chairman Chris Leach, it now employs a worldwide staff of more than 350 employees across 20 offices spanning six continents.  The group offers private jet, commercial airliner and cargo aircraft charters, arranging more than 10,000 charters annually.

Christopher Leach, Co-Founder and Chairman of ACS, said: “It was a pleasure dealing with Jim Keeling and his team throughout the process. We wanted to find the right partners and to do the right deal for us – Corbett Keeling delivered just that.”

Justin Bowman, Chief Executive Officer of ACS, said: “The fact that this company has grown from the basement of a house to the largest charter brokerage in the world is a huge achievement and testament to our amazing team and corporate culture.  However, we are still an ambitious organisation.  Our growth to date has been entirely organic and whilst we will continue to follow those strategies that have been successful in the past, we wish to accelerate our expansion through capital investments in both technology and acquisitions of complementary businesses.”

Adrian Lurie, Partner of Alcuin Capital Partners said: “Air Charter Service is a leader in its field with a great team and strong track record of profitable growth. Their plans going forward are exciting and we are looking forward to working with them in this next phase of the business’ development. Corbett Keeling’s insight and understanding of ACS were invaluable and we were delighted to work with Jim Keeling and his team to bring the deal to a successful conclusion.”

View full press release here

After a successful year, Corbett Keeling is delighted to announce three team promotions

After a successful year, Corbett Keeling is delighted to announce that three of its team have been promoted:

Matt Dixon has been appointed Managing Director

Harry Knight has been appointed Assistant Director

Freddie Hilton has been appointed Manager

Globalscope hosts successful international conference in Dallas, Texas, and welcomes 6 new members

At our 20th semi-annual conference, more than 65 delegates met in Dallas to discuss deal opportunities, hear from local industry and M&A experts, and develop our Globalscope network of international M&A advisers.

We were delighted to welcome 6 new members, taking the total number of member firms to 51 and extending our corporate finance advisory presence to 41 countries.


Corbett Keeling Chemicals team hits CPhI in Barcelona

Corbett Keeling’s Chemicals team comprising father and son, Peter and Matt Dixon, had a productive couple of days at CPhI Worldwide  in Barcelona in early October.

The pharmaceuticals exhibition hosted some 36,000 pharma professionals and over 2,500 exhibitors from more than 150 countries.


Corbett Keeling Director Matt Dixon, and daughter, snapped by local paper running for charity

Corbett Keeling Director Matt Dixon, and daughter, snapped by local paper running for charity.



Corbett Keeling Chairman Jim Keeling joins in making cricketing “history” as Keeling brothers and sons make up entire team

The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 30 August 2016

A cricketing world record is thought to have been set this weekend when a team comprised entirely of fathers and sons from the same family took the field together in a village match.

Keeling cricket match for website

For eighty years the Keelings have dreamt of putting out an all-family 11 in the annual fixture against the Sedlescombe Cricket Club in East Sussex.

In the past they have come agonisingly close, once fielding 10 Keelings but having to fill the spot with a distant cousin of a different name.

On Sunday, however, the long-held ambition was finally and victoriously realised, as four brothers and their seven sons, spanning an age range of 18 to 59, toppled their local opposition with 10 overs to spare.

The annual August bank holiday game is the legacy of the late Sir John Keeling, who first mustered a family-led team to take on the village before the Second World War.

The full story can be viewed here.



Despite Brexit halting the deal, our client writes to thank for Corbett Keeling’s advice

“Thank you very much for your constant advice, graciousness and kind understanding towards myself and others. It is greatly appreciated.”

From a grateful client following a deal that did not go through because of Brexit.

What does Brexit mean for directors and owners of privately owned companies?

The latest edition of UK Private Company Director looks at what Brexit might mean for directors and owners of privately owned companies.

Readers learn that despite the persisting uncertainty about the form Brexit may take, private equity investors remain on balance optimistic about the opportunities for deal making, being eager to step in where trade buyers may be hesitant. As ever, the news is not all bad – and certainly not as bad as the media sometimes portray it.

This quarter, the newsletter covers:

  • Investment levels, historic and anticipated, in the UK private equity market
  • Some of the many legal implications of Brexit on UK M&A activity
  • Why cash should not be neglected as an asset class