Leading international trust and corporate services provider Equiom has announced its acquisition of Links Group – www.linksgroup.com – the United Arab Emirates and Qatar’s leading provider of commercial facilitation and advisory services. The partnership will expand the geographic reach of both companies and broaden their respective service offerings.
Links Group was the first company of its kind to introduce the corporate partner structure for local partner services, endorsed by the Government of Dubai through a strategic alliance with the Foreign Investment Office of the Dubai Economic Department.
LDC, Equiom’s private equity partner, has provided additional funding to support the transaction, which was also supported by Equiom’s committed acquisition finance facility. The deal represents Equiom’s eighth acquisition since LDC invested in the business in 2013 to support its product line and international presence.
Sheila Dean, Equiom’s Global CEO, commented: ‘Our partnership with Links Group takes Equiom into a new jurisdiction and will increase our staff numbers to more than 420, while significantly expanding our service offering. Importantly, the ethos and values we hold in doing business are very much aligned – thoroughly understanding and building trusted, long-term partnerships with our clients is of utmost importance. We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with Links Group as we support the team on its successful growth path.’
Commenting on becoming part of the Equiom Group, John Martin St.Valery, Founding Partner of Links Group, said: ‘Over the past 14 years, with its deep regional knowledge and extensive local experience, Links Group has become a trusted authority in the region, supporting clients’ business objectives and ensuring beneficial ownership and control for foreign-owned companies. We have every confidence that Equiom’s extensive international experience will strengthen not only the services that we offer our clients, but also the overall performance of the business.’
Julie Irving, Partner at Links Group, added: ‘We are delighted to be joining the Equiom family and look forward to the development of our international business strategy, an area which continues to grow for Links Group as foreign investors look to take advantage of the pro-business environments in the UAE and Qatar. As local governments seek to attract more private sector involvement, together Links Group and Equiom are well placed to provide the essential steps to company registration: security, trust, expertise, professionalism and speed.’
Yann Souillard, LDC Managing Director for the South, said: ‘Since we initially backed the management buyout of Equiom in 2013, our buy and build strategy has seen the business extend its global footprint and grow its specialisms substantially to offer its clients a wider breadth of services spanning multiple locations.
‘Links Group’s offering is a perfect fit for Equiom, giving the business an established presence in the UAE and State of Qatar. We now look forward to continuing to work with Sheila and the management team to increase the business’s market share through both organic and acquisitive channels, in order to solidify its presence as a global market leader in trust and corporate services.’
Image 1: Sheila Dean – Equiom Group, Global CEO
Image 2: John Martin St. Valery – Links Group, Founding Partner
Image 3: Julie Irving – Links Group, Partner