Midlands dealmakers advise on international multi-million materials handling acquisition

Midlands dealmakers advise on international multi-million materials handling acquisition

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Author: Kara Shadbolt

Midlands-based dealmakers at Shoosmiths and Grant Thornton have advised leading forklift truck manufacturer Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK on its multi-million pound purchase of Rushlift Ltd.

Crispin Bridges Webb

Rushlift are a national provider of contract hire, fleet management and servicing of materials handling and aviation support equipment. The two companies have a combined annual turnover of £50 million.

Rushlift, which has six depots across Great Britain including Hinckley in Leicestershire, will continue to operate under its own name as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Northampton-headquartered Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK, part of Doosan Corporation, South Korea's oldest company and one of its largest with 40,000 employees worldwide and operations in 38 countries.

Shoosmiths' Midlands corporate team was led by corporate partner Crispin Bridges Webb, supported by Gareth Cook and Marc Piano.

Crispin Bridges Webb said: 'This is an important transaction for Doosan and we are glad to have played a part. This deal further serves to bolster our growing reputation for becoming a prominent 'go-to' firm for advising on integral corporate deals and getting complex deals over the line. As such, Shoosmiths has recently been ranked second by deal volume nationally in Experian's 2014 UK Deal Review and Advisor League Table, and eighth for European deals, evidencing our strength and depth in this area. We have very much enjoyed working with Doosan and wish them the very best with Rushlift.'

Grant Thornton's Midlands advisory team comprised Mustafa Abdulhusein, Maria O'Donnell, Alex Hyde and Andy McGinn, who provided full bid support including lead advisory, valuations, leasing, financial and tax due diligence.

Mr Abdulhusein, who led the team, said: 'As this is Doosan's first acquisition in the UK an important part of our role involved advising on the complexities around deal structure and UK market practices. Working with both Doosan's UK and South Korean teams meant that project management and effective communications were absolutely instrumental in achieving a successful transaction.'

Tim Waples, CEO of the newly-expanded Doosan Industrial Vehicle UK Group, said: 'Doosan's complete product range and Rushlift's deserved reputation for fleet management, account management and service excellence mean these two businesses are a fantastic and complementary fit. We have collaborated extensively over the years but today's acquisition opens the door to larger accounts which were previously denied to both Doosan and Rushlift as individual companies.'

Graham Holyland, CEO of Rushlift Ltd, said: 'Rushlift is entering an exciting new growth phase as we now have the backing of Doosan, a global brand, with all the opportunities that presents for the business and our employees. Despite this, it is in many respects 'business as usual' for us as we continue to provide our existing customers with the excellent levels of support they expect.'

The founders of the Specialist Hire Group, parent company of Rushlift, Peter Cosgrove and John Chappell will retire from Rushlift but will continue with their remaining business interests within that Group.