IAS Group: The Process of a Management Buy-Out

IAS Group: The Process of a Management Buy-Out


Success in a company brings growth, and from growth stems new business opportunities. Such was the case for Integrated Advisory Service (IAS), a leading consultancy firm in the oil drilling sector in the Middle East, previously part of Drilling Systems. With further expansion in the company’s consultancy division, the option of a management buy-out for IAS had very high potential.

The buy-out presented benefits for both companies. Through the buy-out, the two businesses could focus on their different approaches. Drilling Systems could focus on developing its specialised simulation technology. On the other hand, IAS, as a separate enterprise, could further develop and expand its portfolio of training, development and competence consultancy services in the oil and gas industry.

Although the acquisition of IAS was the most sensible option for both parties, the buy-out did not come without its challenges, most of which were legal in nature.

Graeme Eglintine, now managing director of IAS International, said: “Acquiring and setting up IAS as a separate independent company needed to be based on ensuring a collaboration agreement with Drilling Systems was secured. This meant that both parties had to be satisfied with the terms of the agreement and it was at this point that I approached HFI Consulting International.

“Setting up my own company in the UAE was all new to me. Acquiring IAS meant I would be self-employed for the first time and I knew I needed to seek the expert advice of a specialist lawyer. HFI was recommended to me by people I hold in very high regard in the industry, so I made sure my contact with HFI commenced at the very early stages of the acquisition, when discussions on the company were still conceptual.”

The initial discussions provided HFI with a solid overview of the two entities involved, shedding light on the best ways to manage the buy-out process. Graeme added: “The buy-out process was not a straightforward affair. Connections to the previous company meant that the options for IAS were limited.

“But HFI understood what the desired outcomes were for both businesses - that’s how we managed to find a solution for both parties involved. HFI’s advice was invaluable, especially so when it came down to the nitty-gritty of contractual clauses.”

Having established the company with sound legal guidance, Graeme could continue to focus on IAS’s clients base, as well as take on new business ventures for his consultancy firm.

Graeme said: “Thanks to HFI’s expert legal opinion and experience, I have the confidence that IAS as an entity was established correctly right from the start. My focus was able to move away from the legal aspect of the business and concentrate on the services we offer.

“HFI knows our business inside-out because Hugh and his team took the time to understand it and seek what’s best for it. I felt that I could approach HFI as a business partner throughout the whole buy-out process. This wasn’t a faceless legal service; this was commitment to a business with high potential and HFI’s expertise saw this potential through.”