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News Corporate Deals 21st Jul 2022

Freeths advises EH Smith Holdings on key acquisition during centenary year

A multi-discipline cross-office team from Freeths has advised longstanding client, EH Smith Holdings Limited (“EH Smith”), on its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Builders’ Supply Stores (Coventry) Limited (“BSS”).

BSS has been trading in Coventry since 1931 and was run by the third generation of the Ballinger family before completion of the transaction. With EH Smith’s proud history as a family run business itself and as one of the largest independent builders’ merchants in the UK, it was the natural home for BSS once the Ballinger family decided to retire.

The Freeths transaction team was led by Corporate Director Ateeq Ahmed with support from Employment Partner Rebecca Sawbridge, Tax Partner Adrian Hackett, Pensions Director Kim Jones, Managing Associate Nikki Guest and Legal Assistant Lasharna Barnett.

Reflecting on the transaction, Ateeq Ahmed said, “It was a genuine pleasure to work with the EH Smith management team on such an important transaction, especially during the company’s centenary year. It is always great to see a client’s business growing and enjoying success so the fact that we were able to support on this deal is all the more satisfying. I am sure the BSS staff will have already been welcomed with open arms by their new colleagues and that they will very much enjoy being part of the EH Smith group. Congratulations to everyone involved!”

Commenting on the deal, Mark Setchell, Managing Director of EH Smith, added, “We were really impressed with Freeths professional and pragmatic approach which was both flexible and collaborative. They took the time to understand the key drivers and challenges around the deal which enabled them to deliver the transaction in an efficient manner. They also have plenty of depth and experience across their teams which made decision making on critical issues easier. Overall, a great experience working with the team at Freeths.”

EH Smith currently employs around 450 staff and has kept strong roots in the Birmingham area, with 10 of its 13 trading locations and its Head Office situated in the East and West Midlands.

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