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Guildford: Mercedes dealer sold in complex deal

By Dan Teuton
30 March 2009

DMH Stallard has provided corporate legal advice to the owners of Rossetts Commercial in their sale to Inspired Business Investments.

The law firm advised on the disposal of Rossetts Commercials, the Mercedes-Benz Truck and Van Commercial Vehicle Dealership, to Inspired Business Investments for an undisclosed sum.

The deal represents a significant achievement for all of the parties involved given the current economic conditions, the prevailing banking environment, and the general health of the motor industry. It also demonstrates that there is a market for a properly structured exit of a profitable and well-run business.

DMH Stallard have worked for the owners of Rossetts Commercial since 1997. In this time the owners have grown the company to create one of the most successful Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Dealers in the UK, with 160 employees at sites in Eastbourne, Crawley and Worthing in Sussex and Aldershot and Guildford in Surrey. The Group turnover exceeds £39 million and in 2008 the company won the coveted Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Dealer of the Year award, having been a finalist for four years in succession.

Eddie Zoratti and Robert Maxwell of Rossetts commented: “The DMH Stallard team quickly got to grips with the complexity of the transaction which changed with the various demands from the debt provider. As the transaction had to be completed over the festive season with a strict deadline it was critical that the team allocated to this deal where experienced and lead by a highly experienced corporate lawyer. We where impressed by Vincent O’Brien and his selected team who delivered on time. ”

The transaction itself was complicated and was subject to several structural changes prompted by the buyer’s lender. Vincent O’Brien, lead Corporate Partner for DMH Stallard, commented: “This deal was complex and interesting. DMH Stallard put in place a team that was big enough and experienced enough to deal with that. It helps that the lawyers here are recruited and trained to be commercially focussed, that really shone through in this deal. In addition to this our banking team gave first class support, they are hugely experienced and knowledgeable. I don’t know of another Corporate team in the South East who have the sort of expertise and skill set that was needed to get the deal done.”

DMH Stallard negotiated the complex terms of the deal, which were necessary to accommodate the shifting terms upon which the debt was provided, and to adequately secure the finance provided by the vendor which secured the deal value for the owners.

The Corporate team was lead by Vincent O’Brien, with support from Mandy Yin. Gwen Godfrey and Lucy Hall provided banking advice, and Hannah Wilkins advised in relation to Property.

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