orporate partner Ben Butler
Corporate partner Ben Butler.
Nick Hill

Womble Bond Dickinson's Newcastle team close five multi-million pound North East deals in June

The Newcastle-based corporate team at Womble Bond Dickinson marked the end of the month by closing their fifth multi-million pound North East corporate transaction in June.

Throughout June, Womble Bond Dickinson’s Newcastle corporate team advised on deals worth over £125m.

These deals included:

  • RIBA on the £31m investment by LDC, in its Newcastle-based commercial arm, NBS
  • Longstanding, Darlington headquartered, offshore wind client Tekmar on its £65m IPO
  • Newcastle tech-company IOTech Systems Limited on its $2.5m investment by computer giant, Dell
  • Alnwick based Arcinova on its £5m growth capital investment from BGF
  • Vertu on its £21.8million acquisition of The Hughes Group – boosting Vertu’s growing Mercedes–Benz presence, as well as further JEEP, Peugeot, Škoda and Smart dealerships.

This strong performance in June was led by corporate partner Ben Butler, who said: “It’s been a fantastic start to the year for all of us here in the Newcastle corporate team.

“June, in particular, has been great, with the entire team working extremely hard to deliver these transactions, but we have been doing exceptional work across the region during the last 12 months, with some fantastic North East based clients, highlighting our ongoing commitment to the region.

“I am also pleased that our diverse team have all played a key role in our recent success. My partner Robert Phillips led on the NBS deal and the Tekmar float, ably assisted by young and emerging dealmakers Stacey Hall and Oliver Rickett, with Oliver also assisting me on the Vertu acquisition which completed on 30 June.

“Managing Associate Anna McGill worked with me on the Arcinova transaction, while also leading on the investment into the “internet of things” company IoTech.”

The team have also recently completed a £149m fundraising for Atom Bank, the latest of a series of funding rounds (each of which has been led by Ben, supported by Associate Catherine Willis, along with Anna and Oliver) which has seen Atom Bank become one of the fastest growing UK startups, having raised over £350m since launching less than four years ago.

The Atom fundraise followed the conclusion of the sale of Cumbrian business, CN Group Limited to Newsquest Media Group by Corporate partner Jamie Pass and lawyer Oliver Rickett, and the disposal by Newcastle-headquartered Grainger plc of its interest in a residential investment joint venture for £67m.

The Grainger transaction was led by Iain Pritty, Legal Director in the Newcastle corporate team (who also set up the JV relationship in 2013), assisted by David Ridley.

Earlier in the year, Ben, Oliver and Catherine also advised on the $464m IPO of Teesside-headquartered Venator Materials plc, in addition to Ben and Stacey Hall advising on the £11m sale of Newcastle based Vocare Limited.

Ben commented: “These local transactions exemplify our growing sector specialisms here in Newcastle – technology and manufacturing; which fit well with the local economy, together with Iain and David’s growing real estate practice. It is our access to this sector expertise which further exemplifies why we are the pre-eminent corporate team in the region.

“It is great that we have been able to do so many high profile deals right across the North East, with transactions across Northumberland and Cumbria, Tyne and Wear and, increasingly, Teesside where our presence has been bolstered by Managing Associate Will Bonas, who is building relationships with new and existing clients on Teesside.”

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