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Corporate finance experts bullish after impressive year of deal making

21 February 2013

Corporate finance and banking lawyers at Browne Jacobson have strong hopes for the Midlands deal-making scene in 2013 after the firm ended 2012 with a spate of high profile transactions.

In 2012 the firm completed over 100 deals worth in excess of £750m. Chief amongst the deals included acting for General Healthcare Group and management on the sale of CARE Fertility, Nottingham Forest Football Club on its takeover by the Al Hasawi family, Itochu Europe plc and Itochu Corporation on its acquisition of Quantum Clothing, Europ Assistance Holding SA in the sale to management of the entire issued share capital of its UK and Ireland assistance and insurance arm, LDC and management on the sale of Cranswick Pet products to Westland Horticulture, Yorkshire Bank on its senior debt and working capital facilities to the PastaKing Group and the £56m refinancing and restructuring deal for Radius Systems Limited.

Other notable deals completed over the last 12 months include the management buy-out of Dale Power Stations and the sale of Surepharm Services Limited. The firms dealmakers also acted on a raft of acquisitions for long-standing client Staffline Group including its acquisition of GB Resourcing, Gonew Recruitment, Select Appointments, DKM Energy and DKM Driving.

Amongst the sectors that have seen significant activity over the past year is commercial health where the firm has acted on deals worth £100m alone, including the Bowmark Capital-backed secondary buy-out of CARE Fertility Group by General Healthcare Group, Hesley Group Limited on its refinancing with Barclays Bank, Santander on its provision of funding for Creative Care and Bestport Ventures on its development capital investment in Oracle Care Limited.

The deals for France based Europ Assistance Holding SA, Itochu Europe plc and Itochu Corporation and the £10m acquisition of a majority stake in WhiteConcierge Limited for France based insurance company AXA Assistance SA reflects a rise in the number of complex international transactions being handled by the team affording it an opportunity to showcase its full service pan-European expertise and take advantage of Pangea Net - an international network of independent law firms which Browne Jacobson spearheaded in 2009.

Richard Cox, Corporate Partner at Browne Jacobson, commented

"The team finished 2012 with a flourish and we are optimistic that 2013 will be equally as promising based on current deal flows.

"Whilst the Chancellors outlook for the economy paints a somewhat gloomy picture deals are being made as we have demonstrated over the past 12 months. The number of transactions involving overseas investors and trade buyers who are actively targeting the UK market has been particularly noticeable.

"Whilst the climate remains challenging we are bullish about the prospects that lie ahead and confident that the mid-market deal arena, particularly across the East and West Midlands, is building up a positive head of steam."

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Lakhbir Rakar

Lakhbir Rakar

PR Manager