Buying, selling & Investing in your business

At EMW we never lose sight of how important your business is to you. It underpins everything we do as a team.

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We are always on hand to advise, guide and assist in every legal aspect of buying, selling and investing in your or other businesses.

We do everything you would expect us to do, including advising on company and business acquisitions and disposals, private equity backed management buy-outs, joint ventures, equity and debt funding, group restructures and corporate governance.

We don’t have such a thing as typical transaction size, many are in the £5-50m value range, however we often work on both bigger and smaller deals.

We believe that our involvement should be determined by the value we can add, not the size of the transaction.


We act for and on behalf of companies, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, individual and corporate buyers and sellers as well as private equity, angel and other investors. Part of our job is to make sure that you understand what these mean alongside the opportunities and challenges they bring. We often attract young and ambitious owner managed businesses, as being one ourselves, we can relate to the challenges and opportunities they face.

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As a team we have an extremely broad collective experience, with roots in acquisitions and disposals backed by some form of debt or private equity investment. This gives us a 360 degree perspective on most forms of corporate transaction, whoever you are buying or whoever you are selling to.

To the uninitiated, buying a business can be a daunting prospect. Concepts such as warranties, indemnities and tax covenants are readily bandied around. Even the serial acquirer needs a steady hand on the tiller. That’s where our team come in, demystifying the legal process and the terminology and providing guidance on when to ‘dig in’ and when its best to ‘move on’.

Selling a business can be a life changing experience. It can also be an emotional one. In our experience, owners care deeply about the businesses, reputations and brands they have worked so hard to build up and potentially what happens to those businesses after they are no longer in charge.

We take the time to understand what you are looking to achieve, your end goals and never assume it is restricted to the sale proceeds alone.

A carefully thought through employee incentivisation plan can be much more than a defensive mechanism. Aligning the interests of the employee with the interests of the owners can stimulate growth and form a key part of succession planning, something we would recommend all owner managed businesses address.

As a team we have had great deal of success advising businesses on how to best deliver a scheme to suit their situation and the interests of all parties.

Share options are a good example. We can guide and assist you with making them even more effective through a tax efficient Employee Management Incentive Scheme (EMI).

We have extensive experience of share option schemes and other forms of employee incentivisation as well as helping clients with their own succession planning.

We also help ensure that your plans, ambitions and objectives are properly aligned and protected.

We operate our own secure online data room, which is a fantastic tool for managing the process of investigating the affairs of the business being bought more efficiently. In addition, you can utilise the data room to build up your own secure electronic data bank, whether as part of your day to day business or in anticipation of a transaction.

We have a wealth of experience of working with all types of investors, as well as management teams seeking to secure investment. Understanding the market is critical, as is the relationship between investor and those seeking the investment. With extensive experience and expertise in this field across a breadth of sectors we are able to significantly add value to your investment.

An alternative to the traditional trade sale or management buy-out route is the sale of shares to an employee ownership trust. This route has attractive tax benefits for a seller, removes the need to find a buyer and as a consequence the uncertainty that comes with a new owner taking over. The profits of the business are used to pay the seller the consideration and a trust set up for the benefit of the employees purchasing the shares. The structure allows sellers to have a ‘soft’ exit and can be a huge benefit for employees in the business.


I wholeheartedly recommend EMW to other business owners looking for first class legal advice.

James Harrison, Burbage Realty Partners

The team at EMW did a fantastic job for us from start to finish, including initial discussions, reviewing options, engaging with all parties involved in the deal, preparing and explaining the thorough legal documentation and addressing any risks or concerns. This was all done within the expected timescales and to the satisfaction of the entire MBO team which has given us a great platform from which to continue the sustainable growth of Darke & Taylor as an owner managed business.

Simon Newton, Darke & Taylor

Tracy and the wider EMW team have been excellent. Advice has always been clear and concise and no question too silly or request for help too small. Woods Hardwick Ltd have been working with EMW since the last MBO and would highly recommend their services to anyone looking for help.

John Freeman, Woods Hardwick

There are a lot of moving parts when selling a business. Having a legal team that do what they say they will, when they say they will with professionalism and clarity makes the process significantly easier. I can’t speak highly enough of EMW.

Julian Young, adam HT Ltd

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