Corporate team advises on Deal of the Month

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The Wilkes’ Corporate team based at the firm’s Birmingham office have acted as lead advisors on the management buy out of Fitzgerald Contractors Limited – winner of Insider’s Deal of the Month for May.

Corporate Partner Rick Smyth, solicitor Kathryn Morgans and trainee Charlotte Doyle were supported by a number of specialists from across the firm, including property and employment. Rick Smyth said, “Having been involved with the business for many years through Thomas Vale, it was rewarding to work with the management team again and help bring the business full circle back into private hands.  Fitzgerald has always retained a strong, independent identity throughout its time within the Vale Group. It is the size of business which is very much in our sweet spot – and we were delighted to be involved.”

Fitzgerald, which turns over £20m and has more than 100 staff, was acquired by Worcestershire-headquartered Thomas Vale in 1993 and continued to trade and develop as an independent business within the group. The business was part of the sale of the Thomas Vale Group to French construction giant Bouygues in April 2012.

Managing Director Nick Coley said “We were delighted to have completed the acquisition of Fitzgerald. The Wilkes’ team supported us from start to finish throughout the process. They helped us work calmly and methodically through a number of challenges on the deal – and always with good humour. We enjoyed working with them.” He added “I am confident that as an independent company, Fitzgerald will be able to offer an even greater top-down commitment and focus to our clients.”

Chairman David Newcombe said, “As always, the team provided us with clear, pragmatic advice – delivered in plain English – which helped us to ensure we struck the right balance.  They were an ideal legal partner for this sort of transaction.”

The MBO was Insider Deal of the Month. Insider editor Kurt Jacobs (commenting on the Deal of the Month) said: “What’s particularly interesting about this deal is that, despite the dire position it has been over the past few years, there’s real confidence in the future of construction in some quarters.” He added: “Certainly the strength of Fitzgerald’s client list makes it understandable why the management team is so confident of the business’ long-term prospects and clearly relishing the opportunities that greater freedom will bring.”

For more information, please contact Rick Smyth on 0121 710 5932.