Apr 11, 2019


The Urbanists, founded in 2005, is an urban design consultancy, bringing together planning, landscape architecture and architecture.

The Employee Buy-Out (EBO) was led by James Brown (Managing Director), Michelle Tuck and Mark Farr. The EBO follows the retirement of one of the founding members of the Company, Martin Sullivan, who will remain with the business in a consultancy capacity.

The Lexington team, led by Thomas Edwards, worked closely with James, Michelle and Mark to structure the transaction and then with Steve Elias at Development Bank of Wales who supported the transaction.

James Brown said “We are extremely confident that the future of The Urbanists remains in the hands of the people who understand it best and who will strive to continue to deliver the very highest standards of service for our clients, We have achieved much under Martin’s leadership and would like to thank him for his significant contribution in The Urbanists story so far”.

Thomas Edwards said “We are delighted to have advised The Urbanists and the Management Team on this milestone transaction as the business transfers to employee ownership. The culture created by the new Management Team and Martin has been fundamental to the success of the business and the new structure will allow that to continue.

The EBO was concluded under an Employee Ownership Trusts (EOT’s) arrangement. EOT’s were established in 2014 in order to encourage exiting shareholders to facilitate wider employee ownership. An EOT buy-out represents an attractive alternative to a trade sale or traditional Management buy-out for Vendors, as when the sale of a company is to an EOT, the transaction proceeds are exempt from Capital Gains Tax.