Law firm Pinsent Masons has played a part in two strong deals – in a year in which plummeting income from corporate work has meant potential job cuts at the international firm.
A team lead by Colmore Square-based Zanna Patchett advised technology support firm Regenersis on the £10m acquisition of Welsh firm Total Repair Solutions.
And another team worked on what is believed to be one of the largest private equity deals in Europe this year – the management buyout of oil and gas industry components firm Viking Moorings.
The Regenersis deal saw Pinsent advise the firm on the acquisition of TRS for a value of £6.25 million, plus a £3.3 million proposed equity fundraising through an underwritten placing by KBC Peel Hunt.
TRS is a privately-owned outsource service provider with a strong position in the after-sales mobile phone sector and would complement Regenersis’ own successful service business well, the deal organisers said. TRS has established relationships with several high profile global network operators providing them with repair, returns management and end-of-life recycling services for mobile phones.
The Pinsent Masons team advising on the deal was led by Ms Patchett, and assisted by Paul Batchelor and Rhian Critchell with support from banking senior associate Esther Parkes.
Ms Patchett said: “We are delighted to draw upon our experience as the leading legal adviser to AIM companies and to have worked with Regenersis to achieve their stated strategy of growth by acquisition. We wish Regenersis success in the future.”
The private equity deal saw Pinsent advise HSBC Private Equity (UK) on the management buyout of Viking Moorings – a market leader in the offshore oil and gas moorings industry.
Viking designs, rents and sells off mooring systems for drilling rigs and single hull vessels, operating from offices in Scotland, Norway, Australia and Singapore.
Mahmoud Atalla of HSBC Private Equity and Tom Ehret, currently vice chairman of Acergy Offshore, will be joining the Viking board as non-executive director and non-executive chairman respectively, alongside representatives of Inflexion Private Equity and the senior Viking management team.
The debt package was provided by a four-strong bank club comprising RBS, Lloyds, HSBC and Clydesdale.
Pinsent private equity partner Gregg Davison led a team of more than 40 lawyers to advise on the deal including Peter Wood, Giles Warrington and Phil Scott.
Mr Davison said: “We are delighted to have advised HSBC Private Equity on this deal which will see Viking further enhance its market leading position in the North Sea and further abroad, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. We wish them success in the future. In difficult market conditions, it is real credit to the quality and strength of all the parties and advisors involved in this transaction, to deliver the deal for our respective clients”
Earlier this summer, Pinsent said it was considering redundancies because of stagnating turnover, in a move almost certain to affect the Birmingham office. But it will see the new deals as an encouraging sign of recovery.
It also recently regained its number one ranking for advising AIM-listed clients. In the latest quarterly table from the Hemscott rankings, it was shown that Pinsent now has 55 AIM clients, five more than DLA Piper and Lawrence Graham who were in equal second place.
The firm was also ranked top in the Industrial Clients section with 21 clients. Birmingham-based corporate partner Andrew Hornigold said: “We are delighted to have regained the top spot in the AIM client rankings. Pinsent Masons was ranked top for three consecutive quarters but lost out on the top spot in the April ranking. We continue to attract clients from overseas together with UK based businesses in a variety of sectors seeking admission to AIM. These rankings demonstrate our strong credentials in this market together with our dedication to client relationships once companies are on AIM.”