The MBO of Tessella

To celebrate its 25th anniversary of leading corporate finance deals, HMT is reminiscing on 10 notable transactions from our archives. Having completed over 500 deals, producing a shortlist of 10 has not been easy but the MBO of Tessella led by former CEO Alan Gaby has certainly made the list.

Founded in 1980 by Kevin Gell, Tessella is an international provider of science powered technology and consulting services. Tessella uses data science to accelerate evidence-based decision making, allowing businesses to improve profitability, reduce costs, streamline operations, avoid errors and out-innovate the competition.

In 2012, Kevin approaching retirement age, he decided it was time for him to retire and realise his investment. Alan, who joined Tessella as a Director a few years before with an MBO opportunity in mind was the perfect candidate to lead the management buyout funded by Mobeus Equity Partners.

Having never worked with private equity before, Alan was looking for a trusted advisor with strong private equity deal credentials. He got in touch with his long-time friend Andrew and appointed HMT to support him and the management team on the transaction. HMT negotiated the deal with the vendors and Mobeus and provided support on more complex areas of the transaction such as the tax structure.

In July 2012, Alan and Tessella’s management team acquire the business supported by Mobeus. Founder Kevin who strongly believed in Tessella’s potential, retained a significant minority stake in the business and stayed on the Board.

Alan and his team ran the business for three years and sold Tessella to global engineering giant The Altran Group in December 2015. Alan stayed on through the new ownership and has recently left Tessella after 11 years in the business. Alan now uses his experience at Tessella to act as a non-executive chairman for a business in the technology sector.