K3 Capital acquires Knight Corporate Finance Group and Knight R&D 

Comms sector dealmaker Knight Corporate Finance Group and research and development tax consultancy Knight R&D have been acquired by K3 Capital in what Knight CF co-founder Paul Billingham calls a ‘best of both worlds’ transaction.

The deal structure includes a mix of cash, shares and a five year earn-out for founders Billingham and Adam Zoldan (pictured). 

The acquired businesses will continue to operate independently with the same teams, brand and location. 

Knight CF was established in 2008 and quickly established itself as a provider of advisory services to entrepreneurs and owner managed businesses in the telecoms and technology sector, and has completed over 125 transactions since formation. 

In 2016 Knight R&D was formed with Rupert Mayo to support companies on R&D tax incentive claims and provides services to businesses from start-up to the largest corporates across all industry sectors.  

2021 saw the launch of Knight Transaction Services, led by Hayley Brightmore, offering flexible, bespoke due diligence services to acquirers, investors, and funders.

During this time the group has grown to over 30 employees in its Warrington and London offices with turnover in excess of £5 million.  

Billingham commented: “When we were approached by K3 about the potential transaction and met with John Rigby (Chief Executive Officer) and Andy Melbourne (Chief Financial Officer), it was immediately apparent that we were dealing with like-minded entrepreneurs who shared many of our business values. 

“It was crucial for us to work with a business that supported our growth plans, to continue to develop and reward our team and ensure we were able to provide the level of service that our clients expect. 

"This is a ‘best of both worlds’ deal that retains Knight’s existing management team, whose core values will remain steadfast, while allowing us to benefit from the resources and infrastructure of a larger organisation.”

Zoldan added “This deal is an exciting opportunity to accelerate our growth plans and reward our team for their hard work and loyalty. However, for our clients, it is strictly business as usual."

Rupert Mayo, co-founder of Knight R&D, stated: “The opportunity to join a larger and more diverse group of companies with all the associated advantages, yet with the freedom to continue to deliver our services with our unique approach, is exciting.”

Rigby said: “We see the Knight brand as highly accretive and it will continue to be led by Adam, Paul and Rupert to ensure it retains its client proposition both in corporate finance and R&D." 

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