Elsie+Betty Design acquired by WG Architects

Our Client – The Vendor

Elsie+Betty Design (“E+B”) is a Melbourne-based boutique interior architecture and design consultancy, specialising in premium commercial fit-outs for a diverse range of industry sectors including: hotel, hospitality, retail, financial services, office accommodation, aged care and education. Its track record includes projects ranging from minor refurbishments through to multi-million dollar refits – from purely experiential design spaces to rigorously crafted facilities that demand a combination of functionality, IT integration, ergonomics and special materials for regulatory compliance. Established in 2004 and based in the iconic Block Arcade on Collins Street, the Business quickly evolved from a two-person studio to a team of six qualified designers. It successfully grew in a highly competitive market, demonstrating a capacity to build a blue-chip customer-base and to diversify into new sectors. Over the 5 years to FY15, the Business enjoyed exceptional revenue growth, combined with consistent profitability. That performance was a reflection of its ability to deliver innovative interior environments that enhance productivity as well as user experience.

By 2015 and with its excellent brand reputation, proven track record and loyal corporate clientele, E+B was poised to expand across the Australian marketplace. The directors Valentina Kopilas and Kristine Slawinski appointed Johnsons as specialist mid-market business brokers to assist with selling the Business, undertaking a national divestment campaign to find an acquirer that could help take the Business to its next level of growth.

The Sales Strategy

For potential buyers this represented an opportunity to gain or extend a foothold in the growing commercial fit-out sector through the acquisition of a recognised brand, an experienced & effective team, and a premium customer-base. At the same time, consistently high levels of repeat business and client referrals supported prospects for future growth and expansion.

Johnsons Corporate’s custom research & marketing focused on Commercial Interior Designers, Commercial Architects, and Major Commercial Fit-Out companies. Johnsons ran a proactive direct marketing campaign that uncovered 10 qualified, interested parties. Further vetting and negotiations resulted in the selection of a preferred buyer as well as a backup buyer, with Offer and Acceptance secured within 10 weeks of going to market.

The Buyer

WG Architects is an integrated design practice based in Brisbane that offers architectural, interior design and master-planning services to a range of market segments, including: multi-residential, commercial, industrial, retail and private homes. This acquisition dovetailed with its growth strategy by broadening its commercial offering to incorporate interior design.