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Chester firm hopes to create 100 new jobs thanks to new investment

Ellis Whittam was founded in 2004 by Chester solicitor Mark Ellis

Ellis Whittam was founded in 2004 by Chester solicitor Mark Ellis

A business services firm is expecting to create up to 100 new jobs in Chester after securing a significant new investment.

Ellis Whittam secured the investment from mid-market private equity investor LDC to accelerate organic growth and to fund future acquisitions.

The business, which provides advisory and fully-outsourced employment law, HR and health and safety services, was founded in 2004 by Chester solicitor Mark Ellis.

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It supports more than 10,000 UK employers, including Pure Gym, Culina Logistics, Red Letter Days, The Chartered Management Institute, The Chartered Quality Institute and Toni & Guy.

For the financial year ending April 2016, Ellis Whittam generated sales of more than £11 million and profits (EBITDA) of over £3 million. It currently employs 165 staff from its headquarters in Aldford, near Chester, and over the next four years expects to create up to 100 new jobs.

The business has grown successfully under the leadership of Mr Ellis as chairman and Deven Thakrar as CEO for the last seven years.

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This deal, in which LDC takes a minority stake, sees Mr Ellis continue to lead the business and remain as a major shareholder as he steps into the role of CEO.

Having achieved his objectives to lead the business to this investment, Mr Thakrar has decided to take this opportunity to leave Ellis Whittam, after a period of handover, to devote his time to his other business interests.

Mr Ellis said: “Over the past decade we have supported countless businesses, associations, schools, colleges, charities and local councils in meeting their legal obligations as employers and supporting the wellbeing of their staff, which has allowed owners and managers to focus on their core business activities.

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“In LDC we’re confident we have the right partner to deliver the next phase of our journey, as the team fully understands our vision to be the UK’s best fixed-fee professional support business.”

The transaction was led by investment director Richard Ibbett and director and co-head of LDC in the North West Johnny Bell, who will both join the board of the business.

Edwin Christmas, estate director at Eaton Estate, said: “It is our aim to make a positive long term contribution to the communities on the estate and we work closely with our residential and commercial tenants to help make it an attractive place to live, work and visit.

"We are proud to have been able to help Ellis Whittam develop their award winning space and become our largest office tenant over eight successful years.

"During this time it has been able to create more employment and bring more investment, skills, and business to the county. We wish them continued success in the future.”

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