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Southampton: Flurry of deals means active summer for Paris Smith

By Dan Teuton
2 October 2020

The Paris Smith corporate team has advised on 15 substantial transaction completions over the summer months with an aggregate deal value of £130 million.

Partner Amanda Brockwell commented: “The early stages of lockdown presented numerous challenges to getting deals completed, particularly around post completion integration. These difficulties became more manageable with the easing of restrictions and deal flow correspondingly picked up. There is heightened activity in all sectors but we are seeing it particularly in the technology sector.”

Partner Jonathon Roy, who heads the private equity practice, commented: “There is a good level of activity in the mid and lower market. Private equity backed acquirers are particularly active. For sellers in sectors that have been less impacted by Covid-19, valuations appear to be holding up very well.”

Recent acquisitions that the firm has advised on include:

Totalmobile, a private equity backed provider of field service management software solutions, on two company acquisitions that completed on the same day: Lone Worker Solutions and Global Rostering Systems. These acquisitions added key products to Totalmobile’s portfolio of software products. Jim Darragh, chief executive officer, commented: “Paris Smith are an absolute pleasure to work with. They have an exceptional team which supported a well-run project, with a successful outcome.”

Grandeco Wallfashion Group – Belgium, a leading pan European wall product decorating company, on its acquisition of the entire share capital of Holden Decor (one of the leading wall-covering companies in the UK), from D&V Holden for an undisclosed consideration. The acquisition of Holden Decor is part of Grandeco’s global expansion strategy. The deal marked the eighth major transaction the Paris Smith team has undertaken for Belgium based clients in the past four years. Herman Van Der Plaetsen, chief financial officer, commented: “The transaction, particularly the whole complex closing process, was dealt with very professionally by the Paris Smith team.”

GRG Waste UK, a Hampshire-based recycling and waste recovery specialist - on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Chloros Environmental, one of the UK’s fastest growing hazardous waste companies. The acquisition of Chloros enhances GRG’s position as one of the leading companies in the UK for hazardous waste, liquid and total waste management services.

The firm has also recently assisted shareholders with the following sales:

GHG, a Hampshire based loss adjusting and claims management specialist - £17 million private equity led management buy-out.

Imperial Car Supermarkets, a Southampton based major seller of second-hand cars from 18 showroom supermarkets - sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to Cazoo Holdings. Mike Bell, managing director, commented: “It’s been extremely comforting having the Paris Smith team on our side.”

Transforming Systems, a leading real time performance data provider to the NHS, on the sale of its share capital for approximately £6 million to VitalHub Corp, a listed Canadian technology provider to health and care providers.

Partner Michael Moore commented: “We have enjoyed an excellent run of deals recently and that trend looks set to continue for some time. It’s heartening that most of the deals have involved businesses in Hampshire and the surrounding region, which demonstrates the strength and resilience of the local economy.”