Gresham opts for Hammonds on Penn Pharmaceuticals exit

Hammonds has secured Gresham Private Equity Solutions as a new client following the hire of Wragge & Co partner Peter McLintock last June.

McLintock joined Hammonds’ Birmingham office as the firm’s head of private equity, and has promptly made his mark by winning the instruction from Gresham on its partial exit from Penn Pharmaceuticals.

Gresham, a mid-market private equity house, focuses on deals valued at between £5m and £75m. The house also has relationships with DLA and Addleshaw Goddard.

While a partner at Wragges, McLintock advised Gresham on its £5.8m investment into Penn Pharmaceuticals’ £12m management buyout in 2000. Following the buyout, the South-Wales based company restructured and developed on a global scale, quadrupling its sales to £20m.

Gresham’s exit took place in two stages. The initial transaction, which took several months to structure and complete and was worth £62.5m, was the sale of part of Penn’s manufacturing activities – principally concerned with thalidomide – to US company Celgene Corporation. Prior to the acquisition, Celgene had a manufacturing agreement with Penn.

The second stage of the deal was a secondary buyout of the remaining business by Penn’s chief executive Craig Rennie. McLintock said this part happened very quickly.

The transaction leaves Gresham with a small stake in the business, which will be used to support Rennie’s continued development of Penn’s core services.

Hammonds also won a second role on the Penn transaction, as Birmingham-based banking partner Sukh Ahark advised the Royal Bank of Scotland on its provision of banking facilities to the company.

Penn and its management were advised by corporate partner Philip Goodstone of Addleshaw Goddard, who also worked on the 2000 management buyout. Barlow Lyde & Gilbert corporate partner John Cadman advised Celgene.

The Penn transaction was McLintock’s second deal since joining Hammonds. He advised Aberdeen Murray Johnstone on the sale of Carmichael International to Amdac.