Grant Thornton dealmakers predict strong year ahead

Following a strong end to 2014, advisory specialists at Grant Thornton in the Midlands are predicting an increasingly buoyant year ahead with international transactions anticipated to drive activity.

During the last six months of the year, Grant Thornton’s Midlands’ team advised on 31 transactions worth a total of around £815m, establishing itself as the leading financial adviser in the region as confirmed by Experian Corpfin last month.

In February 2014, the corporate finance team in the East Midlands, led by Mustafa Abdulhusein, advised the management of creative packaging business Benson Group on its sale to USA-headquartered Graphic Packaging International for £100m. Benson Group, based in Bardon near Coalville, is one of the UK’s leading printed folding carton suppliers and is known for its design-led packaging solutions.

Building on its success of the first half of the year, the team continued to work on a number of high profile transactions. During the summer, they advised Warwick-based technology services company Telent Telecommunications Services on its investment in CNS and further advised Telent on the acquisition of Telindus UK in November.

In September, the team provided corporate finance advice to the large USA-based leisure products business W C Bradley on the acquisition of Preston Innovations of Telford for an undisclosed sum. October saw Grant Thornton continue to be active in the Technology, Media and Communications (TMC) sector as the team advised on the YFM-backed management buy-out of Springboard Research. The month also saw the team deliver another international transaction with the disposal of Youngman Group, a leading supplier of tower and trade access equipment, to global operator WernerCo.

The end of 2014 continued to be active with the Midlands team advising on four deals during December, including providing support to Nottingham-based Esendex on the acquisition of Collstream, a SMS, voice messaging and interactive voice response solutions provider.

Mustafa Abdulhusein, who leads the Grant Thornton advisory business in the East Midlands, said: “Over the past year, we’ve seen deal activity across a diverse spectrum of businesses in a variety of sectors, which suggests the wider economic recovery is normalising and businesses are more confident of their prospects for the year ahead. Our pipeline of deals indicates a strong year ahead with cross-border interest continuing to drive activity.”

For further details on transactions completed in 2014, please visit Grant Thornton UK LLP’s deals database here.

Grant Thornton’s Leicester office provides business and financial advice across Corporate and Personal Tax, audit and assurance, employer solutions, corporate finance, and sustainability, to organisations across the East Midlands.