Gowans drives publishing deal

Osborne Clarke senior associate Andrew Gowans led a team advising on one of Thames Valley's largest ever private company deals – John Madejski's £260m sale of Hurst Publishing, the publisher of top-selling magazine Auto Trader.

Gowans hailed the deal as vindication of the firm's decision to open a Thames Valley office in Reading last January and a victory for local law firms.

"One of our key objectives is to ensure that businesses in the area feel that they do not have to go to City law firms for their most important transactions," he said.

Madejski – who personally netted £174m from selling the company he set up in 1976 – used Osbornes on the recommendation of his long-standing legal consultant, who had acted on the opposite side to Osbornes on various occasions.

Gowans led a ten-lawyer team and senior partner Chris Curling – who is based at the firm's Bristol office – was in the background to help if necessary.

Gowans said that Osbornes was determined the deal would be led from the Reading office, which specialises in corporate finance, employment and information technology.

The sale will allow Madejski to spend more time on his other love, Reading FC.

Alastair Dickson of Dickson Minto acted for BC Partners, a private equity group. A syndicate of lenders, led by Deutsche Bank and advised by Allen & Overy, provided financing.