Shoosmiths advises GBR Phoenix Beard through acquisition by international real estate advisor Savills

The corporate team at national law firm Shoosmiths has advised long-standing clients, the shareholders of property consultancy GBR Phoenix Beard Holdings Limited, on its acquisition by international real estate advisor, Savills.

With a reputation for providing high quality consultancy, property management, agency and transactional services, GBR Phoenix Beard is an independent, owner-managed business which operates nationally from offices in Birmingham, London and Leeds. Its specialist teams cover commercial property management, office and industrial agency, investment, residential management, building consultancy, lease consultancy, rating, and health and safety services.

Savills Birmingham was established in 1998 and offers a full spectrum of services including: development; planning; urban design & masterplanning; office and industrial agency; investment; building consultancy; rating; strategic asset management; lease consultancy; commercial property management; management set-up; valuation and housing and healthcare.

The practice employs 205 people, who will all join Savills with immediate effect, and is led by Managing Director, Simon Farrant, alongside Head of Property Management, Catherine Gabriel and Head of Agency, Stephen Benson. Savills and the GBR Phoenix Beard Birmingham teams will relocate to a new combined office in due course, while the GBR Phoenix Beard teams in London and Leeds will move into Savills existing offices at Margaret Street and City Point.

Shoosmiths corporate partner, Ben Turner and solicitor Georgina Gurnhill advised the shareholders of GBR Phoenix Beard on this complex deal; and provided solutions along the way. The team advised on all aspects of the deal, from the initial heads of terms stage to completion of the transaction. Tax advice was provided to the individual shareholders by Shoosmiths tax partner, Tom Wilde. Negotiation of the shareholders new service contracts with Savills was advised on by Shoosmiths employment associate, Nick Vernon.

Simon Farrant, managing director at GBR Phoenix Beard, now Savills, said: ‘We have used Shoosmiths for a number of years and have been continuously impressed by the quality of the advice we have received on this deal and others. This deal was very complex and, as such, knew we could rely on Shoosmiths corporate team to get the deal across the line and offer innovative advice at the same time.

‘We are genuinely thrilled to be joining Savills, which reflects the high esteem in which our business and our team are held. Savills full-service business, global presence and highly developed infrastructure bring significant opportunities for staff and clients alike. This is a pivotal moment in GBR Phoenix Beard’s fifty year history and we are excited by the compelling proposition offered to our longstanding clients.’

Shoosmiths’ Ben Turner, said: ‘We thank our long-standing client GBR Phoenix Beard, for instructing us on the consultancy’s sale to Savills.

‘GBR Phoenix Beard has been a client of Shoosmiths’ for many years. Our capabilities for providing advice on M&A deals are extensive because of the size and strength of our national corporate practice. We have the breadth and the depth to be able to deal with complex matters such as this; while remaining innovative and retaining superb client experience.’

Shoosmiths’ corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths work with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.

Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in joint first place by deal volume in Experian’s UK Deal Review and Advisor League Table. The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.