Souter Investments
is one of the UK’s leading family investment offices specialising in private equity

Souter Investments completes sale of First Scottish Group

Monday, 27 August 2018

Souter Investments completes sale of First Scottish Group

Souter Investments has completed the sale of First Scottish Group, Scotland’s leading independent firm of professional searchers.

First Scottish provides fast, accurate searches and reports for solicitors, conveyancers, estate agents, financial institutions and local authorities.

The company has been acquired by a significant international private investment group with multinational interests across a variety of sectors, and specialism in health care, technology, insurance and financial services. The First Scottish management team, led by Group Managing Director Ian Fraser, will remain with the company and the business will continue to trade under the First Scottish brand.

Ian Fraser commented: “Having enjoyed a long period under Souter Investments’ ownership, during which First Scottish has gone from strength to strength, we are enthusiastic about our new relationship with our new owners, whose outlook and approach is very much aligned with our goals.”

He added: “We are committed to retaining the identity and culture of First Scottish, recognising the strength of the company’s reputation, our market leading offering, and the calibre of our team. So, it remains business as usual for First Scottish as we continue to focus on delivering exceptional service to our customers.”

The sale of First Scottish continues a busy period for Souter Investments following recent investments in DMC Canotec, one of Britain’s largest providers of managed print and document management services, Broadway Partners, a leading provider of broadband services in rural areas, and, the ‘EdTech’ transport specialist.

John Berthinussen, Investment Director at Souter Investments, who steps down as Chairman of First Scottish, added: “Ian and his team at First Scottish have built a strong, market leading business focussed on providing true value adding professional expertise and delivering exceptional customer service. With the support of Souter Investments, First Scottish has grown substantially, and the company is well positioned as it enters the next stage of its development under new long-term ownership. We wish Ian and his team every success in the future.”

Souter Investments has also recently completed the sales of its holdings in Baywater Healthcare UK and Endura, whilst portfolio company Ashtead Technology announced a joint venture with Forum Subsea Rentals, a subsidiary of Forum Energy Technologies, creating the industry’s leading provider of subsea survey and remote operated vehicle (ROV) equipment rental and associated services.

Souter Investments and exiting shareholders were advised by KPMG and Addleshaw Goddard, supported by CMS, Lindsays and Thomson Cooper.


About First Scottish Group

First Scottish Group is Scotland’s leading independent firm of professional searchers delivering a comprehensive suite of fast and accurate search services.

As well as searching the public registers, First Scottish has its own in-house databases and works closely with professional agencies including the Registers of Scotland, Ordnance Survey, The Coal Authority, Scottish Water and HM Land Registry. First Scottish Group’s comprehensive range of searching services include its market leading Multi Search product, as well as Title Searches, Property Enquiry Certificates, Complex Investigative Searches and Plan Reports and Preparation.

First Scottish also offers intelligent document management solutions to help streamline your business processes giving you greater control, faster access, and enhanced security. These include document scanning and web access, document storage and secure destruction.

For more information please visit


About Souter Investments

Souter Investments is the family investment office of Sir Brian Souter, co-founder and Chairman of Stagecoach Group plc. It makes investments across a broad range of asset classes, with a primary focus on private equity and a portfolio of more than 30 direct private equity investments.

For more details please visit