CORPORATE lawyers from Thrings have advised on the sale of a Swindon-based education business.

Financial Services 4 Schools offers finance, payroll and HR services to schools, academies and multi-academy trusts across the UK. It is now owned by Juniper Education, which provides software, training and professional services to the education sector, after being bought for an undisclosed sum.

Lorraine Billis, Andy Madgwick and Neil Miles formed FS4S in 2008 and later added support businesses Payroll Bureau Services for Schools and HR Services for Schools to its growing portfolio.

Mr Madwick will remain at the company during its transition to the new owners.

Lorraine Billis said: “Our purpose in setting up FS4S was to provide excellent services for schools within their locality, putting schools at the heart of everything that we did. It was important to us to find an acquirer who shared these values and we firmly believe we have found this in Juniper Education.

“Equally important to us was receiving legal advice from a firm that was known and respected both locally and nationally, that gave us the opportunity to meet face-to-face wherever possible, and offered us constant support via phone and email during the lockdown period.

“We are grateful to Simon Hore and Conor Melvin from Thrings for providing us with an excellent service and giving us as much time and attention as we needed.”

The team received legal advice from Mr Hore and Mr Melvin in Thrings’ corporate team, who assisted with the due diligence exercise and negotiation of the share purchase agreement.

Mr Hore added: “Key to the success of this transaction was their decision to approach Thrings at the very start of their sale journey.

“Being able to discuss and understand their commercial objectives, and explain the various processes involved with the deal, provided invaluable planning and preparation time which ensured they knew what to expect from a legal perspective.

“The due diligence exercise was carried out efficiently, to the benefit of all parties and, despite taking place during lockdown, without any unnecessary delays. On behalf of everyone at Thrings, I would like to wish Lorraine, Andy, Neil and the staff at FS4S all the very best for the future.”

Juniper Education has its headquarters in Chelmsford and provides support services in areas such as finance, HR, payroll and pupil tracking to more than 100 education establishments in the west of England and more than 4,000 schools and academies across the UK. It is backed by private equity investment firm Horizon Capital.

Pinsent Masons provided legal advice to the buyer.