Outstanding advice for 99p

The Birmingham office of national law firm Mills & Reeve advised 99p Stores on its proposed £55 million sale to Poundland.

The deal comprises £47.5 million in cash and £7.5 million of Poundland shares and is conditional on the approval of the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA). The process is anticipated to take around two months.

Willenhall based Poundland is Europe’s leading single price general merchandise retailer, with nearly 600 stores and a market capitalisation of £1.3 billion. 99p Stores, headquartered in Northampton, has a network of 251 UK and overseas stores (trading as 99p Stores, Family Bargains and Euro50 Stores) and a turnover of £370.4 million.

Peter McLintock, a corporate partner in Mills & Reeve’s private sector business services team, leads the client relationship with the shareholders of 99p Stores, including the founding Lalani family. Peter, together with corporate associate, Junaid Haroon, led the transactional team for the shareholders. The team also included real estate associate Chloe Bucktin, tax partner Kevin Lowe and competition law expert Michael Bryceland. They worked closely with the shareholders’ corporate finance advisors from the Birmingham office of KPMG comprising Neil Meredith, Greg Easter and Katie Sharples. Freshfields advised Poundland.

Peter said: “We have known the Lalani family for some time now, having worked with them on several transactions. Gaining a close relationship meant that we understood the strategic importance of the deal to both parties. Putting two major players together is a challenge in itself, but in the world of retail, where it is goliath against goliath and with the major retail chains looking to take on the fixed price retailers, it makes perfect sense to combine forces to retain the ability to give the best range and service to consumers.”

Faisal Lalani, managing director of 99p Stores, said: “We chose Mills & Reeve because they had done a great job for us in the past. Our decision was fully vindicated as they were very proactive, available around the clock, handled a number of complexities by giving clear, sensible and practical advice and it was a pleasure to work with them.”

Mills & Reeve’s corporate team completed 15 deals in the six months to December 2014, with a total value of £250 million and that trend has continued apace in 2015, with several more deals being exchanged and completed.