Mills & Reeve breaks into Experian’s Top 10

Kevin Lowe, the Birmingham-based head of corporate at Mills & Reeve

Major national law firm Mills & Reeve has been named as one of the top 10 firms in the UK by deal volume in the Experian review of UK mergers and acquisitions for 2015.

According to Experian’s research there was a 27% increase in the number of transactions year on year. The main industry involved in 2015 M&A deals was manufacturing, accounting for 30% of all transactions.

Recent Mills & Reeve deal highlights have included advising the shareholders of 99p Stores on its £55 million sale to Poundland, Europe’s leading single price general merchandise retailer. Mills & Reeve guided 99p Stores through the extreme rigours of a full CMA investigation and provided advice on the corporate, real estate, tax, employment, banking and pensions aspects of the transaction.

Just this month the team advised FTSE 250 company PayPoint on the £14 million sale of its online payment business.

PayPoint is an international leader in payment technologies, providing payment solutions for everyone from consumer and financial services companies to retailers, utilities, media and government clients.

Other deal highlights have included advising:

o     Center Parcs UK in connection with its acquisition by US-based Brookfield Property Partners.

o     Partnerships In Care, one of the largest independent providers of mental health specialist care, on 11 acquisitions during 2015.

o     Shareholders of Broadwick Holdings Limited, whose portfolio includes internationally renowned festivals such as Snowbombing, Festival No.6 and Electric Elephant, on the acquisition of a significant stake by London-based Global Live.

o     The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, on the sale of Constructionline, one of the UK’s largest online procurement and supply chain management services, to Capita Business Services LTD, for £35 million.

o     Ubisense Group plc on a £10 million institutional fundraising on AIM. The firm has advised Ubisense since 2010, most notably through the Company’s AIM IPO in 2011, three international acquisitions and a previous £4 million fundraising in 2014.

The firm’s international profile also continues to rise with recognition as a top 20 European M&A advisor in Experian’s international M&A research. International highlights included advising:

o     US-based Tenet Healthcare on its £144 million acquisition of UK private hospital operator Aspen Healthcare.

o     Shareholders of Avro Holdings Ltd on the successful sale to Danish company Faerch Plast, Europe’s leading producer of packaging for the ready meals industry.

o     UK sensor technology business Sentec on its sale to a subsidiary of US-owned infrastructure company Sensus.

The VC team has also advised on over 90 investment transactions raising in excess of £250 million in aggregate. The team this year earned recognition by being shortlisted as Service Provider of the Year at the Investor Allstars Awards 2015.

Kevin Lowe, the Birmingham-based head of corporate, said: “The team has already been steaming ahead with a number of high profile and exciting deals in January so our deal flow looks set to continue. We are delighted to have risen through the rankings over the last 12 months and are keen to continue our upward trajectory.”