Regional firms dine out on Symington’s buy-in

Addleshaw Goddard, Hammonds, Pinsent Masons and Linklaters have all benefited from one of the smaller private equity deals being announced in the regions, despite the credit crunch.

The four firms scored lead roles on the £40m buy-in of food manufacturer Symington’s by a management team backed by fund manager Hermes. Symington’s is home to celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott’s pre-prepared food range.

Linklaters advised longstanding private equity client Hermes on the buy-in, fielding a team led by corporate partner Richard Youle. Pinsents advised Leedsbased Symington’s on the deal, which sees Hermes pay the equivalent of one year’s worth of Symington’s sales.

Symington’s’ management bought out the company from private equity house Gresham last year for an undisclosed amount. Corporate partner Peter Wood led the team at Pinsents on the recent buy-in.

Addleshaws corporate partner Sean Lippell and associate Sally Davies advised the management buy-in team, consisting of David Salkeld and Henrik Nygaard Pade.

Salkeld is the former CEO of Grampian Country Food Group and Arla Foods. Meanwhile, Hammonds finance partner Simon Owen advised Yorkshire Bank on providing the acquisition finance, along with Hermes, for BPG Acquisitions, the buy-in vehicle.

The bank is one of Hammonds’ longstanding clients.