The West Midlands’ corporate finance community has had a busy week after the region saw a clutch of deals worth in excess of £30 million pass through its books.
Catalyst Corporate Finance completed its eighth transaction of 2010, advising Tribal Group on the £13 million sale of its architecture subsidiary Nightingale Associates – the firm behind the £350 million University Hospital in Coventry.
The company was sold to Canadian architecture and urban planning group IBI Group.
And the Birmingham office of Clearwater Corporate Finance has advised private equity firm ISIS Equity Partners on the £12 million sale of database marketing company Occam DM to main-market listed printing and marketing group St. Ives.
Meanwhile the Swedish-owned lock giant Assa Abloy, which owns iconic brands such as Chubb and Yale, has swooped in on a local firm, buying up Black Country lock manufacturer Paddock Holdings.
Bloxwich-based Paddock Holdings has sales of £30 million and specialises in multipoint locks and accessories.
The deal, which was for an undisclosed sum, still needs merger clearance before it goes through.
Assa Abloy already has a presence in the West Midlands, in the form of a Wolverhampton distribution centre.
And in the waste management sector, Aim-listed Teg Group has bought Wolverhampton Science Park-based Simpro, which owns six composting sites in the Midlands, in a deal worth up to £6 million.
Teg Group sees good opportunities in the Midlands, saying it expects a number of local authorities in the region to start up food waste collections in the near-term.
On the Nightingale Associates deal, Catalyst was appointed by vendor Tribal Group to explore options for the sale of its non-core subsidiary.
Using its experience of the market advising the shareholders of Foster + Partners on its development capital fundraising in 2007, Catalyst identified a small group of credible international trade buyers for Nightingale.
The Catalyst team then engaged with these buyers on potential strategies within the architectural and wider urban planning markets.
The deal was led by Catalyst partner Steve Currie.
Mr Currie said: “It was through discussions with a number of potential buyers that IBI emerged as the best option as the new owner of Nightingale, specifically by providing the business with unparalleled access to North American markets whilst preserving the Nightingale brand and levels of autonomy”.
Meanwhile for the Occam deal, Clearwater undertook the sales process on behalf of ISIS and Occam’s management team.
The deal team was led by partner, Phil Burns, and supported by assistant director Mark Day.
Mr Burns said: “ISIS has helped to steer Occam through a period of notable development, and we are delighted to have realised value for the shareholders.
“This acquisition will allow St. Ives to broaden its suite of services, unifying its broad range of printing solutions with Occam’s data services.”
Meanwhile PricewaterhouseCoopers in the city also has reason to celebrate after the firm scooped a top award at the 2010 Private Equity Awards, winning the title of Professional Services Firm of the Year. The awards, sponsored by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) and Real Deals, aim to recognise the achievements of the dealmakers and advisers.
Matt Waddell, head of corporate finance at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Midlands, said it was a significant achievement.
Mr Waddell said: “This is an excellent achievement for the firm, recognising our commitment to the private equity industry.
“As a firm, we have been agile in responding to the challenges facing the industry and are poised ready to help clients deal with addressing some of these challenges.
“In the Midlands, we are seeing signs of a resurgence in the private equity market as confidence in the economic recovery improves.”