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Thames Valley Deals Awards finalists revealed

By Tim Wickham
7 October 2021

The Thames Valley Deals Awards has returned after a year’s absence with over 140 entries from deal makers, corporate finance specialists, lawyers, accountants, banks and non-bank lenders.

Award sponsors and independent judges faced a tough challenge selecting a shortlist of finalists for the 14 award categories. The sponsors are UBS, IBB Law, Gateley Legal, Crowe, Shawbrook Bank, ThinCats, LDC, HMT and BDO.

Winners will be announced during a gala awards evening at the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre at Reading FC’s Select Car Leasing stadium on 3 November. TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith, famous for his rugby coverage on Sky, ITV and Channel 5, will be back by popular demand to host the evening.

Commenting on the stellar line-up of finalists, Peter Laurie, Senior Adviser at awards organiser The Business Magazine, said: “The deals market has been very active despite the uncertainties of the last 18 months. We’re delighted to be able to re-start the awards and were hugely impressed by this year’s entries. I would like to thank our independent judges for reviewing the entries and offering their impartial views.”

The finalists…

Large Deal of the Year (over £50m)

• Sale of Babble – Complex management buyout by the B2B communication services provider

• Investment in CIPHR – Marlow-based specialist software company scales up its ambitious growth plans

Mid-range Deal of the Year (£10m-£50m)

• Management buyout of Aker Systems – Winnersh-based software solutions provider continues its impressive growth

• Management buyout of Foundation SP – Succession planning by founders of Reading-based digital transformation services provider

• Management buyout of Pareto Facilities Management – Reading-based facilities management provider expands organically

• Sale of Simply Waste to Biffa – High Wycombe-based national waste services provider continues its expansion

• Secondary buyout of Vectair – consortium of US buyers acquires Basingstoke-based hygiene and fragrance products distributor

• Sale of Porterhouse Medical Group to IMC – Reading-based medical communications and research specialist becomes part of global agency

Small Deal of the Year (under £10m)

• Sale of Yellow Zebra Travel to Wilderness Safari – South African safari holiday operator buys travel business

• Management buyout of RGE Services – sale by founder of Reading-based property business

• Investment in Horizon Technologies – Reading-based airborne signals intelligence business funds future expansion

• Sale of Ingenie to A-Plan – Witney-based insurance broker buys telematics car insurance brand

• Sale of Clientbase to Whistl – fourth acquisition in three years by Marlow-based delivery management company

• Investment in Caristo Diagnostics – funding for the expansion of University of Oxford spinout business

Bank of the Year


• NatWest

• Santander

• Shawbrook

Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year

Tim Armstrong, PwC

Simon Davies, FRP (formerly Spectrum Corporate Finance)

Duncan Lamb, BDO

Nigel Le Bas, Grant Thornton

Andrew Thomson, HMT

Stuart Williams, James Cowper Kreston

Corporate Finance Team of the Year



• Grant Thornton



• PwC

Due Diligence Team


• Crowe


• James Cowper Kreston

• PwC


• Wilson Partners

International Deal of the Year

• Sale of LSI Consulting to Invenio Business Solutions – Reading-based technology solutions consultant expands in the US

• Investment in Supermassive Games by Nordisk Games – Guildford-based video game developer gains strategic investor

• Sale of Dezeen to JP/Plitikens Hus Media Group – UK digital content provider bought by Danish media company

Lawyer of the Year

• Adam Dowdney, IBB Law

• Greg Leyshon, Osborne Clarke

• Andrew Peddie, Gateley

• Robert Rice, HCR

• Sanjeev Sharma, Shoosmiths

• Rachel Turner, HCR

Law Firm of the Year

• Gateley


• IBB Law

• Osborne Clarke

• Shoosmiths

Management Team of the Year

• Aker Systems


• Foundation SP

• Pareto Facilities Management

• Vectair Systems

Non Bank Lender of the Year

• Leumi ABL

• ThinCats

• Tower Leasing

Private Equity Firm of the Year



• Mobeus Equity Partners

• NVM Private Equity

• YFM Equity Partners

Young Deal Maker of the Year (under 35)

• James Buckingham, BDO

• Ricky Collis, HMT

• Catrin Dilloway, Maven Capital Partners

• Gemma Legg, KPMG

• Ben Lowe, FRP

• Jack Redwood, Benchmark International

• Jack Teasdale, BGF

Get your ticket for the gala here.