North East business adviser UNW is celebrating a record-breaking first quarter after overseeing deals with a combined transactional value of around £100m.
The Newcastle-based business’s corporate finance team took six transactions over the line in the first 12 weeks of the year, suggesting the advisory market is returning to pre-recession levels.
The deals mean UNW is now forecasting a record year overall, strengthened by an advisory team which has expanded by a third over the last 18 months to cope with a busy pipeline of acquisitions, disposals and fundraisings.
The first quarter of 2015 has seen the team help Teesside chemical firm Chemoxy put its expansion plans into practice by securing a £20m funding package, which includes £10m growth capital investment from the Business Growth Fund and £10m of working capital from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.
The firm also advised on the sale of Basingstoke storage company Solid State Solutions (S3) to outsourcing giant Capita plc, and helped sell 155-year-old radiology protective equipment manufacturer W S Rothband via a management buy in and acted for Gentoo in the sale of Wigan-based Astley Facades to Entu plc.
A joint venture between Gentoo Construction and Tolent plc was also overseen, as well as the sale of a channel service provider to a London private equity house in a confidential transaction.
UNW corporate finance partner Paul Kaiser said: “Our Corporate Finance team is now the biggest in the North and we are confident our collective skills in fundraisings, acquisitions and disposals can compete with the best nationally.
“Having recognised that the market was recovering, we have invested heavily in our advisory department, leaving us perfectly placed to take advantage of this more buoyant market and to handle larger transaction volumes.
“We have made five new appointments to UNW’s Corporate Finance team in the last 18 months, which have further bolstered our national and regional experience in M&A (mergers and acquisitions), and brings our team up to 15 people.
“For us these transactions, and a very strong pipeline coming through, provide us with real evidence that we are getting towards pre-2008 transaction volumes, which, with the uncertainty of the general election out of the way, means it’s a very good climate to sell or raise money for your business.”
As well as advising on management buy outs and management buy ins mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, disposals, funding and strategic planning, UNW’s Corporate Finance team is also the North East’s leading dedicated grant adviser.