Grant Thornton's Yorkshire and North East team completes six deals

24 November 2020 3 min. read

Grant Thornton’s Yorkshire and North East advisory team has completed six deals in just four weeks. The moves were brokered by the firm’s corporate finance and restructuring wings.

The corporate finance practice of Grant Thornton supports five lines of service for clients: business acquisitions; sale of a business; business valuation for acquisitions; financing solutions; and management buyouts. Throughout all five lines, the firm works to ensure that both parties make informed decisions based on unambiguous figures, as well as making sure acquisitions take place under the right conditions, resulting in a satisfactory transaction for all.

Grant Thornton’s Yorkshire and North East advisory team has completed a flurry of six deals in just four weeks, three of them coming from the firm’s corporate finance specialists. First, this saw the firm play an instrumental role in Poundland’s transformational acquisition of Barnsley-based business Fultons Foods.

Andy Wood, Yorkshire and North East Managing Partner at Grant Thornton

The strategic deal, led by Corporate Finance Director Jim Whittaker and Associate Director Robert Umpleby, triggered a £25 million investment by Poundland to roll out a chilled and frozen food offering across Poundland’s shops, upscale Fulton’s distribution facilities, and create around 1,000 full time and part time jobs.

Elsewhere, Grant Thornton also advised on the sale of Skipton and Worksop based Hollings – a producer of natural dog treats – to Assisi Pet Care.  Assisi is a new venture backed by a private equity firm which is looking to become a key player in the UK and European pet market. Finally, the acquisition of a Northern health-tech company by a listed US company completed the corporate finance treble.

Andy Wood, Yorkshire and North East Managing Partner at Grant Thornton said, “Our teams have been working flat out in the last month or so to complete some incredibly important transactions and therefore deserve enormous credit.

At the same time, Grant Thornton’s restructuring specialists were also at the heart of some of the region’s most significant transactions. Led by Partner Chris Petts and Director James Bulloss, the restructuring team’s hat-trick comprised of a number of deals which preserved employment in the North of England, amid the double blow of the pandemic and recession which have wreaked havoc on the broader economy.

First, this saw the sale out of administration of Doncaster based Universal Recycling to Remet Processing. Its annual revenues have previously been reported as around £20 million – however, as is the case with firms across the industrial spectrum, 2020 has proven to be a difficult year for Universal Recycling, and the deal subsequently secured the future for more than 50 employees at the metals recycling specialist.

Then, a pre-pack sale to a Yorkshire-based trade buyer of North East engineering company Cylinder Services and a complex long-term, multi-million pound debt refinance and restructure at a prominent, fully-listed Yorkshire company added to the tally.

Commenting on the news, Wood added, “[These six] deals created jobs and opportunities and those securing the future of businesses, including saving many people’s livelihoods, are critically important to our region at this time of continued economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic… It’s credit to the resilience and enterprise of the Yorkshire business community that our teams remain so active.”