Bristol ;firm ;TLT Solicitors has advised social enterprise organisation ECT Group on the disposal of 16 subsidiaries in a restructure aimed at clearing the charity’s debts.
Corporate restructuring partner Robin Staunton said ECT Group instructed the firm after a “disastrous diversification” in 2004 landed it in significant debt.
“ECT started life as a community transport and bus company charity 20 years ago,” he explained. “It claimed to be the best funded community transport charity and later it diversified to become a successful recycling charity. Up until four years ago it was a phenomenally successful community group, but it then bought into a railway group and it was a classic case of not being able to stem the losses.”
Staunton said that ECT Group had now disposed of the railway company, which included the Dartmoor Railway heritage line, to Iowa Pacific Holdings for an undisclosed sum.
This is the US railway company’s first move into the UK industry. Iowa Pacific’s newly established UK holding company, British American Railway Services, was represented by Norton Rose partner David Baylis and associate Julie Murray.
The firm also advised on the £15.5m sale of ECT Recycling to May Gurney.
May Gurney was represented by Eversheds senior associate Mark Satterly.