LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Jonathan Jones, head of private equi…

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Jonathan Jones, head of private equity at Hammonds, has advised on the biggest ever MBO in Yorkshire – the £783m MBO of Keepmoat plc.

Keepmoat, based in Doncaster, is a regeneration and affordable housing specialist, which has been recognised by the Fast Track 100 as one of the UK’s 100-most successful private companies.

Yesterday the business, which is run through its Bramall Construction, Frank Haslam Milan and Haslam Homes divisions, was sold to its management in a deal which was advised and funded by advisors in Yorkshire.

Keepmoat, which is recognised as a national specialist in the community regeneration market, has broken new ground in long-standing partnerships with public sector organisations like local authorities and housing associations.

Chief executive David Blunt and three other company directors led the MBO, which was funded through an integrated debt and equity package from Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance.

The Hammonds team advised the buyers in negotiations with Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance. Jones led the team with Richard Morton, Sian Humphries and Abbie Robinson.

Jones said, “The fact that all the advisors were Yorkshire-based is demonstrates the strength of the region’s corporate finance sector. This deal surpasses the total value of all the other MBOs that were undertaken so far in 2007. It was great to play a part in such a fantastic success story for the region.”

“We anticipate that the management now has huge scope to realise its ambitions of transforming Keepmoat into a £1bn turnover business. It is also likely to be a key player in the Government’s plans to invest heavily to fulfil the county’s need for more social housing and affordable housing.”

Other legal advisors on the deal included DLA Piper who advised the two of the exiting shareholders and Eversheds who advised the Bank of Scotland Integrated Finance.

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