Higgs & Sons’ award winning corporate team proved a safe pair of hands when overseeing a deal involving two former footballers.
Adrian Cutler, a partner at Higgs & Sons, facilitated the deal when international accountants Mazars netted new client GMS Group run by footballing brothers Neil and Andy Male.
GMS offers a range of services including security, void property management, utility management, debt recovery and pre-litigation legal services. It has developed long term business relationships with high profile clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, Poundland, PWC, Triumph Motorcycles and Grant Thornton.
Accountants Mazars were appointed auditors and advisers with a brief to help grow the Bromsgrove based business, which is headed by CEO Neil Male with his brother Andy.
Dudley born and bred Neil and Andy were both on the books of Wolverhampton Wanderers until the age of 16, when Neil joined Torquay and Andy went to Port Vale. Both had to give up the game following serious knee injuries.
“I was on the scrapheap – where do you go in life when your dream is shattered by the time you are 19,” said Neil. “You have to pick yourself up.”
He joined HSBC Invoice Finance managing 30 SME businesses from a credit management perspective. In June 2000 Neil ‘stumbled’ into the security industry when he was headhunted by the two original shareholders of GMS who had incorporated the company in 1997. He quickly rose through the ranks and in 2005 led a restructure and management buyout.
Neil added: “It was a huge risk at the time. I took on a £250,000 personal guarantee with £50,000 equity taken out on my house to invest in GMS.”
Higgs’ Adrian Cutler said: “I was introduced to Neil by a mutual business contact shortly before he led the group restructuring in 2005. From the very beginning it was clear to me that Neil had what it takes as a committed, driven and highly tenacious entrepreneur and it was without question in my mind that he would achieve great things with GMS”.
“That he has reinvented the group, added valuable complimentary services and grown the business to one of the UK’s pre-eminent security services all ahead of plan is of no real surprise, but is testament to the ethos he has driven through the culture of his business”.
“As a firm we are delighted to continue the journey with Neil and Andy and are looking forward to providing them with the full benefit of tailored, structured and value added legal services for many years to come.”
GMS Group, based on the Harris Business Park, Stoke Prior, employs over 400 staff and has a turnover of £12 million, looking to reach £15 million in 3 years.
GMS appointed Higgs & Sons because, said Neil: “We have a strong presence in the West Midlands and want to continue to strengthen this also encompassing growth in the East Midlands and on a national aspect either organically or by acquisition”.
“We look to deliver excellence in every aspect of our business and we are recognised for the calibre of our employees, our business and personal ethos, our reliability and our integrity. Higgs & Sons are the same.”
Neil and Andy, who both live in the Black Country, remain big football fans; Andy has stuck with Wolves but Neil’s allegiance is West Bromwich Albion.
Higgs & Sons is based in the heart of the Black Country at the Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill. The growing team now boasts 100 plus specialist lawyers available to support clients in a comprehensive range of business and private sectors.