Three Midlands professional firms have worked together to instigate and drive a large national deal continuing their individual runs of deal making success. Cooper Parry Corporate Finance, Cobbetts LLP and Translink Corporate Finance have advised on the respective sale and acquisition of Forum Products Holdings Limited (“Forum”) by Barentz Europe B.V (“Barentz”), to create a pan-European leader in the distribution of specialty ingredients.
The transaction has enabled Netherlands-based Barentz to expand its presence in the UK market, and capitalise on Redhill-based Forum Products’ strong life science ingredient distributor position in the pharmaceutical, food and animal nutrition markets. Forum Products recorded revenues of £85m in 2011.
The shareholders of Forum were advised on the sale by Cooper Parry Corporate Finance (David Browne and Ben Rookes) and Cobbetts (Adrian Cutler and Emma Ray). Barentz was advised by Translink Corporate Finance (Stuart Hands).
The Cobbetts team advised on Forum’s original management buyout in 2008 and subsequent strategic growth acquisitions. The deal was led by Birmingham-based corporate partner Adrian Cutler and supported by associate, Emma Ray.
Adrian Cutler said: “We have been particularly close with the team at Forum, after helping it through an ambitious growth strategy since its MBO in 2008. It was the strength of this ongoing relationship that helped to drive the transaction to the Midlands.
“Not only does the deal represent a good return on the shareholders’ original investment, but also indicative of the strength of the Midlands professional community to have such a pivotal role in an international deal.”
David Browne, Partner at Cooper Parry, said: “Whilst the business was based in Redhill, the deal was advised almost exclusively from the Midlands and demonstrates therefore the strength of the regions professional community and quality of advice provided. This deal continues to demonstrate that corporate finance market is strengthening and certain sectors are attracting a lot of potential suitors, especially to overseas buyers.”
“This is a great example of the experience and quality of the Midlands advisory base. We are delighted to have contributed to making this deal happen and believe our strong reputation in the industry is a key success factor to our continued run of completions.”
Stuart Hands from Translink Corporate Finance in Leicester, said: "In originating the deal the strong strategic rationale for combining our clients was evident from the start, not least the very professional and experienced senior management teams that helped the deal process. Working with high quality Midlands advisors to achieve a win-win was critical and something I hope to continue as we are seeing increasing interest in UK acquisitions from our International client base."
Chris Bloor, managing director of Forum Products, said: “The integration of Forum Products Ltd into the pan-European Barentz Group is a very good move for the organisation. Barentz values the expertise of our group and will fully utilise that expertise in a very constructive and professional way. With our life-sciences finished products we will now have immediate access to all European countries. Barentz offers us a great European network with very strong synergies.”
Barentz Europe B.V. is a privately owned company based in the Netherlands and present in 26 countries in Europe, employing more than 400 personnel with an estimated turnover of circa €650m in 2011. The group has a leading Pan European position distributing ingredients and additives for the food, pharmaceutical & cosmetic, chemical and nutrition industries and has built long term relationships with worldwide suppliers and European producers.