Corporate Advisory

Corporate Advisory

French Duncan Corporate Advisory is French Duncan’s specialist corporate finance team which, advises on a variety of areas including sale mandates, valuations, acquisitions, due diligence, fund raising, grant funding, and business planning.

  • French Duncan is one of the few independent Scottish firms of Chartered Accountants to retain a full-time specialist corporate finance practice, focused purely on corporate transactions.
  • Our corporate advisory team is one of the largest in Scotland with seven members, including a partner, a director and a senior manager.
  • Each year the team advises on a significant number of transactions in Scotland. We undertake work for a host of Scottish clients as well as a number of international businesses.

 Our expertise has been recognised with the team being nominated for a number of awards and has twice won team awards at the Scottish Accountancy Awards.

Our Services

Making the right move at the right time can be the key to success and our Corporate Advisory team is well placed to assist you through the complex and often emotional process of buying or selling a business, undertaking a management buy-out, a management buy-in, or some form of joint/corporate venture.

We can support you and your team in the following areas:

  • Ensuring that your business is “fit for sale”
  • Leading and managing the transaction to allow you to continue to focus on the day to day business
  • Collation of information and, if required, preparing an Information Memorandum
  • Identification of potential acquisition targets and acquisitions
  • Negotiation of terms with the prospective seller/purchaser
  • Tax planning
  • Due diligence, either undertaking due diligence in the case of a purchaser or managing the process
  • Sourcing funding
  • Liaising with your legal representatives in completing the transaction.

Due diligence investigations are a necessary element of any business acquisition or financing round. A well delivered report provides the appropriate support information and underpins the winning of backer’s confidence.

French Duncan Corporate Advisory has an experienced and highly commercial due diligence team. Unlike many of our competitors, our team has experienced life outwith the accountancy profession, in commercial entities at Managing Director and Finance Director level and in the banking and public sector funding world. We are therefore well qualified to provide a comprehensive, insightful and commercial diligence service.

Our recent work includes:

  • Due diligence on an acquisition target.
  • Due diligence on a number of potential licensees for new technology.
  • Due diligence on a number of companies seeking funding, both public sector funding and private sector.

We will work with you in ensuring that the due diligence is correctly focused and delivered in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Our team can also assist in the areas of pre-investment due diligence or post-investment monitoring on behalf of institutionally managed private equity funds and other investors.

Efficient and effective business planning is key for both new and established organisations, allowing management to focus on the important issues both now and in the future.

We can assist you in preparing a business plan, be it for raising funding or simply as a management tool.

Prior to putting pen to paper, we will spend time in understanding your business, where the growth opportunities lie and where the issues are to be addressed.

With that knowledge, we will work with you in documenting your business and your future plans in a business plan document. We will also assist, as required, in preparing financial projections, reflecting the financial impact of your plans.

Having the right level of funding is the lifeblood of any business.

Recent years have heralded a radical change in the way that companies seek funds for investment and expansion. Prior to the downturn, most companies seeking to raise capital to fund growth would typically have approached their bank in the first instance and, thereafter, looked to supplement this finance with soft funding via a loan or a grant.

Many companies will instead now by-pass that traditional source of primary finance and go straight to alternative funding sources in the private and public sectors before subsequently approaching their bank to ascertain its willingness to plug any funding gap.

This volte-face in how finance is accessed has made those once secondary funders more active and prominent in the marketplace and prompted new funders to enter the market. The result of the emergence of these alternative forms of finance is that ambitious companies are now able to call upon a complex ‘cocktail of funds’ to help plug the funding gap.

Our team offer expert advice in raising funding and in particular, the aforementioned 'cocktail of funds' packages.  We have expansive working relationships built up over many years, with private sector funding organisations.

Additionally and crucially in these current times, we have extensive contacts in the public sector, including grants, and quasi public sector funding organisations. Increasingly, these organisations have a key role to play in a business’s financing facilities.

Your fundraising from the development of a business plan through to introductions to financiers, be it equity, debt or grant and the negotiation of suitable terms will be managed throughout by our experienced team.

French Duncan Corporate Advisory is Scotland’s leading advisor in the grants arena. Our expertise is evidenced in over £80m of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants that we have secured for clients over the last eight years.

We are active in sourcing grants across a wide range of business sectors for businesses at various stages in their life cycles. As well as RSA, we have been successful in securing SMART : SCOTLAND grants, and Food Processing Marketing Co-operation (“FPMC”) grants.

Understanding the value of your business can be important in a variety of situations including the sale of a business, a shareholder dispute, incorporation or restructuring.

Our Corporate Advisory team has years of experience in valuing businesses, large and small, over a variety of sectors. We will invest time in fully understanding your business, its operation, its people and its financial performance as part of our valuation work. We will produce a comprehensive report outlining our methodology in arriving at our conclusions on value and are readily available to talk you through our report. If required, we can advise on any subsequent transaction, shareholder dispute or restructuring.

Our highly experienced Corporate Advisory team is uniquely placed to advise you during challenging times in your business life, having worked with cash constrained businesses outwith the profession. The ability to control a cashflow, liaise with creditors and maintain continuity of supply demands a particular skillset possessed by our team.

We are well known to the high risk teams in the leading banks and where required can call upon the expertise of our Restructuring & Debt Advisory Team.


Our Team



Graeme Finnie

Graeme Finnie
Managing Partner & Head of Corporate Advisory
g.finnie@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Iain  Walker

Iain Walker
Corporate Advisory Director
i.walker@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Graeme  Smith

Graeme Smith
Corporate Advisory Senior Manager
g.smith@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Marc  Vosilius

Marc Vosilius
Manager
m.vosilius@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

Gordon  Burns

Gordon Burns
Assistant Manager
g.burns@frenchduncan.co.uk
0141 221 2984

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