Dibbs claims victory in public to private deals

Dibb Lupton Alsop has led three public firms to private transactions in three consecutive days, claiming a record in a highly active market.

The reluctance of investors to buy shares in smaller companies has led to a growth of work in this area, as board directors decide that venture capital companies offer a better source of funds to the stock market.

Head of European acquisition finance Mark Vickers says: “Public to private takeovers tend to be complex buy-out transactions which must be completed within short timescales.

“To prepare three deals for announcement on three successive days demonstrates our strength in acquisition finance teams.”

Dibbs claims that it has acted on more than one third of the public to private deals announced since 1 January 1997.

The three deals involved tableware business Denby Group, followed by paper supplier Salehurst, and lastly, air dryer specialist Warner Howard. In each case, Dibbs led the teams advising the banks. The combined value of the three deals stands at u116m.

Also involved in the Denby deal was Pinsent Curtis, which advised the directors of the company.

Pinsent Curtis is also advising NatWest Equity Partners in Birmingham on the public to private takeover of Symonds, a computer, telecommunications and aerospace company.

Andrew Eastgate, Pinsent Curtis' head of corporate finance in Birmingham, says: “There is increasing interest in this type of transaction. We have more in the pipeline, as well as those transactions which are already in the public domain.”