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23 September, 2016 - 13:11 By Kate Sweeney

Mills & Reeve advises on £18m engineering group takeover

Cambridge UK law firm Mills & Reeve has advised on the £18 million recommended takeover offer for AIM quoted SWP Group plc, based in Soham.

The offer has been made by Friars, a new management backed company created by four of the SWP directors – Alan Walker, Colin Stott, David Pett and Martin Bell.

SWP designs, manufactures and installs a range of high value added engineered solutions across international markets in the energy, utilities and construction sectors. It is best known for brands such as Ulva Insulation Systems, Fullflow Group and Plasflow.

Alan Walker, chairman of Friars, said: “As a private company, SWP will be better able to weather the feast and famine nature associated with transacting a small number of large projects. I look forward with great optimism to working with all stakeholders to continue the successful development of the business.”

Alan Smith, independent SWP director, added: “This deal gives shareholders a chance to realise value from their investment at a significant premium to the recent share price, while safeguarding the existing employment rights of SWP employees.”

The Mills & Reeve team was led by corporate partners Stephen Hamilton and Peter McLintock, assisted by Junaid Haroon and Emma Plaxton. Banking advice was provided by David Varnham and Alex Pickett.

Chris Gregory of Orbis Partners acted as financial adviser to Friars and the management team. Charles Cattaneo, David Newton and Martyn Pilley of Cattaneo LLP provided further financial and regulatory advice to Friars. 
John Hodgson and Robert King of Smith & Williamson provided tax advice and HSBC provided funding (advised by Pinsent Masons).

SWP Group was advised by Whitman Howard, with legal advice from Addleshaw Goddard.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Mills & Reeve corporate partner, Stephen Hamilton

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