The corporate division of financial services group Begbies Traynor has advised on a private equity purchase of one of the UK’s top model agencies.
Despite the almost moribund private equity market, BTG McInnes Corporate Finance worked on the deal to buy Models 1 on behalf of US house OpenGate Capital.
Founded 40 years ago, Models 1 represents many of the leading names in the fashion industry, including Agyness Deyn, Noemie Lenoir, Twiggy, Yasmin Le Bon, and Linda Evangelista. It has about 1,200 clients working in a wide variety of situations: from haute couture to in-house shows, Vogue to ID, and high street retailers including M&S, Next and Top Shop to brands such as Gucci, Calvin Klein and Prada.
The existing management will remain shareholders, while the transaction provided an exit for the private equity house, Nova Capital Management.
BTG McInnes was initially appointed to provide financial due diligence and financial modelling, but the remit was subsequently expanded to negotiating with the vendors and with the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Iain Lownes, of BTG McInnes in Birmingham, worked on the deal with partner Sean Hackemann.
Mr Lownes said: “Myself and Sean Hackemann are delighted that we have been able to successfully complete this deal, which shows that, in spite of the current macro-economic and credit environment, there will always be a market for good quality businesses with a proven track record.”
Andrew Nikou, chairman and managing partner of OpenGate Capital, added: “It was a pleasure to work with the BTG McInnes team.
“They were professional, responsive and accurate throughout the process, contributing significantly to the successful completion of the deal.”
BTG McInnes advised OpenGate while BTG Tax undertook the tax due diligence for the acquirers.
Maxwell Winward provided legal advice to the acquirers, while Wallace LLP provided legal advice to the existing management team of Models 1.
Private equity houses have been struggling to complete deals in recent months as the lack of liquidity in the market put a freeze on borrowing.