Clearwater International advises Cooper Parry on investment from Waterland Private Equity

Clearwater International advises Cooper Parry LLP (Cooper Parry), the fast growing and disruptive firm of accountants and business advisers on its investment from Waterland.

Established in 1850, Cooper Parry’s award-winning teams support likeminded entrepreneurial businesses across the UK and Internationally, covering the spectrum of audit, tax, R&D, tech and high growth, outsourced finance services, corporate finance and wealth management. In recent years, the company has increased revenues and grown market share by successfully pivoting from a generalist to a specialist approach. A significant focus is on developing bespoke offerings and tech-enabled services to high growth companies in addition to established businesses in the technology, retail, sustainability, property management, and food and drink sectors.

Cooper Parry’s disruptive new approach was born 20 years ago, driven by changes made by the current leadership. The new generation of partners dramatically overhauled the company’s strategy and brand to reflect a more disruptive, innovative and culture-centric approach to professional services.

Cooper Parry is now recognised as a leading employer in the UK and its sector. With a dynamic, high-performance ethos, trialling of 30-hour working weeks and excellent opportunities for personal development, it has been recognised as the #1 Accountancy Firm to Work For in the UK. Cooper Parry has clocked up six consecutive years in the The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For, was the Winner of the Inspiring Workplace of the Year in 2021 and has just made the Top 3 for mid-size companies in 2022.

Today, the company employs over 475 people across its headquarters (celebrated in the UK’s Top 10 coolest offices) at East Midlands Airport, in Shoreditch and in prestigious new city centre offices in Birmingham. Glassdoor and NPS scores consistently out-perform others as ‘best in class’, ensuring the continued recruitment (and retention) of top talent across the team. Post-deal, the 40+ Partner group will all remain and incentive plans are in place to increase the Partner group still further.

Ade Cheatham, as CEO, will continue to propel the business forward alongside the full existing partner and leadership team. With Waterland’s new investment, Cooper Parry will roll out its ambitious five-year vision to generate a 500% increase in annual revenues. A clear pipeline of complementary businesses acquisitions, new partner hires and cherry-picked team lifts is already firmly established.

This major investment, allied to strong organic growth, will accelerate Cooper Parry’s expansion across the UK, Ireland and internationally.

Under the terms of the transaction (subject to regulatory approvals), Cooper Parry will convert into a limited company with Waterland as a significant shareholder and the partners retaining a substantial equity stake.

Clearwater International's M&A team advised Cooper Parry in this transaction, whilst the Debt Advisory team provided buy-side support to Waterland.