Butters John Bee (BJB) is a residential and commercial estate agency and lettings group which has 19 branches along the M6 corridor in Cheshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

The company offers residential sales and auctions, lettings, conveyancing, surveying, financial services as well as selling, letting and managing commercial property.

Spicerhaart is the UK’s largest independent estate agency group and has 200 branches and 2,000 staff nationwide working for its brands, which include Haart, Darlows and Haybrook.

Spicerhaart completed the acquisition of BJB in September 2017. The deal was funded through Spicerhaart’s reserves with support from HSBC.

Orbis provided the detailed financial and tax due diligence required by ourselves and our Bank, highlighting both risks and opportunities and offering insightful advice on how to deal with them within the deal structure. The Orbis approach was extremely pro-active and they worked very effectively with both ourselves and our legal due diligence advisors providing valued support up to and post completion.

Mark Hurdle, CFO


Orbis were engaged by Spicerhaart and HSBC to undertake financial due diligence on BJB and to provide acquisition support services to Spicerhaart.

Specifically, Orbis:

  • Worked with Spicerhaart and HSBC to agree a formal scope for the due diligence
  • Undertook a detailed investigation of the historical, current and forecast financial performance and position of BJB
  • Worked closely with Spicerhaart to form a view on underlying trading of the business as well as advising on a normal level of working capital and the net debt at completion
  • Undertook a review of the tax affairs of the company under tax due diligence
  • Advised Spicerhaart throughout the acquisition process on issues arising in relation to the deal
  • Presented a written report to Spicerhaart and HSBC on the conclusions and findings of our work
  • Worked in conjunction with the lawyers to agree on SPA issues as well as preparing the deal funds flow and distribution summary
  • Assisted Spicerhaart with post-acquisition support

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The statutory directors of Orbis Partners Ltd are Chris Gregory, James Grenfell, Gary Ecob and Shah Zaki.