Gear4music plans for growth with admission to AIM

Third AIM transaction in a month underlines national reputation for Walker Morris.

Specialist equity capital markets lawyers at Walker Morris are advising Gear4music on its admission to AIM. The IPO is the law firm's third AIM transaction in a month and reinforces its position as one of the region's leading firms in this field.

Gear4music is one of the largest UK-based online retailers of musical instruments and music equipment. Operating from an office, showroom and distribution centre in York, the Group sells own-brand musical instruments and music equipment alongside premium third party brands including Fender, Yamaha and Gibson, to customers ranging from beginners to musical enthusiasts and professionals, in the UK and, more recently, into Europe.

Having developed its own ecommerce platform, with multilingual, multicurrency and fully responsive design websites covering 19 countries, the Group has expanded rapidly its database (which currently has details of more than 750,000 people) and continues to build its overseas presence.

Richard Naish, corporate partner, is leading a multi-disciplinary team, including Shubhu Patil and Victoria Smithers, providing the legal advice to Gear4music. Commenting on the deal Richard Naish said:

“The IPO is a positive move for Gear4music and will provide a solid platform for future growth for this successful Yorkshire-based business. We've had the pleasure of working with the company for a number of years, having previously advised at the time of Key Capital Partners' investment in 2012, making it particularly satisfying that we have been able to help with the transition from a private equity backed business to one that will be publicly quoted."

Gear4music Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Wass, said:

“Over the last 12 years, we have established ourselves as one of the largest UK-based online retailers of musical instruments and music equipment and are well placed to build on the positive momentum we have generated to date, particularly over the last two years, which have seen our revenues almost double and our European business expand significantly.

“We are very excited about this next stage in our development, with our forthcoming flotation on AIM enabling us to develop further our bespoke ecommerce platform, invest in additional marketing initiatives, extend the range of products we stock and open a flagship showroom in central London.”

Last week Walker Morris advised on Cleeve Capital's acquisition of Satellite Solutions Worldwide and its admission to AIM and last month advised on Mobile Tornado Group's share placing on AIM.

Panmure Gordon is acting as Financial Adviser, Nominated Adviser and Broker to Gear4music.

Walker Morris advises High Street TV on MBO

A team of lawyers at Walker Morris have advised the sellers of High Street TV on a secondary management buyout, backed by Endless LLP.

Andrew Malcher and Jim Coleman set up the Harrogate firm in 2008 and Endless first invested in the firm in 2012, when annual sales were approaching £15 million. Revenues trebled in two years and it expects to generate EBITDA - a measurement of profitability - of £10 million on sales of £70 million this year.

High Street TV sells licensed and own-branded products on TV, online and via print, as well as through 35 retail groups, including Argos, Asda and John Lewis.

Garry Wilson, partner at Endless, said:

"Andrew and Jim are two remarkable entrepreneurs who have built an incredible business under the tutelage of Gordon Black CBE and surrounded themselves with a great team in Harrogate.

"High Street TV is clearly the market leader in multi-channel, direct response TV and the trusted partner for businesses who want to launch innovative products into the UK and international markets."

"Since its launch in 2008 its growth in both sales and profits has been truly astounding. We are delighted to invest alongside Andrew, Jim and the wider management team as we believe that High Street TV has the potential for even greater growth in the next few years.”

Andrew Malcher, co-founder and executive chairman, said:

"Endless are a first-class organisation with an excellent track record of helping companies maximise their potential. Following our rapid growth in sales and profitability, we are extremely proud to have agreed backing to assist HSTV in maximising its potential."

Walker Morris fielded a multidisciplinary team to advise the sellers of High Street TV comprising Paul Emmett, Graham Mackenzie and Victoria Smithers, all from the Corporate Team and Peter Considine from the Banking Team advised High Street TV on the banking arrangements.

Walker Morris advises on second AIM transaction in the communications sector in a month

Cleeve Capital plc acquires Satellite Solutions Worldwide Limited and is admitted to AIM

Walker Morris has advised on Cleeve Capital plc's delisting from the Standard Segment of the Official List, acquisition of Satellite Solutions Worldwide Limited and its admission to AIM.

The deal is the second AIM transaction involving a communications company that the Walker Morris Corporate Team has advised on in a month, having advised on the placing by Mobile Tornado plc in April.

Richard Naish and Shubhu Patil from Walker Morris' Corporate Team provided advice to Cleeve Capital's nominated adviser, Strand Hanson.

Cleeve Capital has issued 50 million new ordinary shares at a price of 4.5p per share to raise £2.25 million.

Satellite Solutions is a global communications company offering high-speed satellite broadband solutions.  It specialises in rural, last-mile and emergency communications via satellite, particularly where traditional broadband providers are unable to supply.

Richard Naish, corporate partner at Walker Morris said:

"This latest share placing reinforces our strong track record in equity capital markets work, with the pipeline looking strong as well.  We have advised on a large number of equity capital markets and public company transactions in the last six months which is testament to the Firm's continued investment in specialist expertise."

Walker Morris appoints new Head of Pensions and expands team to meet growing demand in high value, complex pensions work

Image: Walker Morris Pensions Team (L-R) Tamsin Tinkler (Director), Gwendoline Davies (Pensions Litigation), Jo Ratcliffe (Head of Pensions), Ruth Bamforth (Associate)

Walker Morris has announced that Jo Ratcliffe has been appointed as their new Head of Pensions and has expanded its pension team with the appointment of pensions barrister, Ruth Bamforth, to reinforce its specialist expertise in high value, complex pensions legal matters to meet the growth in demand.

Pensions partner, Jo Ratcliffe, is being promoted to Head of Pensions taking over the role from the Firm's Chairman, Andrew Turnbull.   Jo is widely recognised in the industry and has been ranked as a leading pensions lawyer for over a decade by the independent legal guide, Chambers & Partners.  In 2014 she was winner of the 'Lawyer Monthly Women in Law Award for Pensions' and was also shortlisted in both 2015 and 2014 for the 'Finance Monthly Lawyer of the Year Award – Pensions'.

Ruth who joins from Gordons LLP has almost 20 years' experience of advising trustees and employers of occupational pension schemes and is ranked in Legal 500 as a leading pensions lawyer. She is a recognised figure in the pensions sector through her regular speaking appointments and her memberships of the Association of Pensions Lawyers Legislative and Parliamentary Committee and the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF). 

The highly regarded Pensions Team at Walker Morris has also promoted Tamsin Tinkler to Director.  Tamsin was ranked as an 'associate to watch' by Chambers & Partners in 2014 in recognition of her growing reputation within the industry.

The Walker Morris team provides pension law advice to a number of blue chip clients such as the Capita and Pensions Life Assurance Scheme, the Capita International Retirement Benefits Scheme, the Russell Hobbs Pension Schemes and Leeds Building Society.  The Team advises on all types of scheme, from Small Self Administered Schemes to large occupational pension schemes with asset values in excess of £800 million

Ian Gilbert, Managing Partner at Walker Morris said:

"These appointments are driven by the fact that we are winning more and more, high value, complex pensions work where our expertise and experience is able to add real value.

"The Pensions industry is going through the biggest legislative change for many years, with radical amendments to the rules on the use of members' defined contribution benefits.  Our ability to provide a focussed and experienced team to provide advice on these issues has won favour with a number of our clients and as a result we've grown our business in this sector.

"Jo and Tamsin's promotions are testament to the hard work and client commitment they've shown over the years and I would like to congratulate them on their success.  Ruth's appointment will reinforce the experience and resources of the Team and I look forward to welcoming her to the Firm."

Corporate Team advises Servelec on acquisition of Aura Healthcare

Walker Morris underlines reputation as one of the leading legal advisers to technology sector.

Corporate lawyers from Walker Morris have advised Servelec Group plc on its acquisition of Aura Healthcare Limited.  It is the latest of several transactions in the technology sector on which the law firm has advised, reinforcing its reputation in this sector.

Aura is a developer of software for the healthcare sector that controls bed management and patient flow across hospitals, clinics and primary care centres, enabling improved care of patients.

Alan Stubbs, CEO of Servelec Group said:
"I am very pleased to be able to announce the acquisition of Aura.  We have a clear direction of travel which is to be successful in the 'Refresh' in the North of England and this Acquisition increases the appeal of our Oceano product and adds further functionality to RiO, our market leading Mental Health and Community Health system.

The quality of Aura's technology is second to none. 'Flow' is already integrated into Oceano and RiO and with Aura's established routes to market together with our leading market position, we are really excited by the additional growth opportunities Aura offers."

Servelec Group plc provides software, hardware and services predominantly to the UK health & social care, oil and gas, power and nuclear, water, utilities and broadcast sectors. The Acquisition is a continuation of Servelec's growth strategy for its Health & Social Care division. It builds on the acquisition of Corelogic Limited in December 2014, which has strongly positioned Servelec to support providers of both health and social care as the markets move in the direction of converged care.

Paul Emmett and Ed Ainscoe, both from the Corporate Team at Walker Morris provided legal advice to Servelec.  Paul Emmett commented:

"This transaction reinforces our technology sector expertise having advised Mobile Tornado on its share placing on AIM last month and in December we advised Servelec on its acquisition of Corelogic for £23.5 million."

Deloitte LLP provided financial advice to Servelec.