National law-firm, Shoosmiths has advised NVM Private Equity (NVM) on a £4m development capital investment into a Salford Quays-based consultancy which is primed for growth in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the European Union.
Customs Connect and Customs Connect Europe, which aim to minimise customs duty paid by importers through re-classification and suspension, plans to use the capital to both support an expanded service offering within the UK and to facilitate growth across mainland Europe.
Company founders Neil Sheppard and James O'Neill already count a healthy number of blue-chip companies as clients and have bolstered the Board with the appointment of John Barnsley to the role of non-executive chairman. A former UK managing partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers, John brings a wealth of experience in growing professional services businesses internationally and, particularly, across Europe.
Manchester-based Shoosmiths corporate partner, Kieran Toal, led the deal with support from Damien Brown and Gemma Porter (corporate), Tom Wilde (Tax), Liz Sweeney (Banking) and Katie Marsden (Employment).
Andy Leach, investment partner of NVM, said: 'We are delighted to be supporting Customs Connect in its ambitious plan to broaden and grow its activities across Europe.
'At a time when, post-Brexit, the topic of trade agreements and related duty considerations are high on the business agenda, Customs Connect is well-placed to assist. This funding will allow Neil and James to expanded Customs Connect's offering across more territories in Europe where businesses are facing similar challenges.'
Commenting on the deal, Kieran Toal said: 'We are pleased to have acted for NVM on its investment in another growing and exciting north-west business in Customs Connect and, as a repeat client, it is another pleasing indicator of the progress Shoosmiths' corporate team is making in the competitive Manchester private equity market. We very much hope that NVM call on us again to assist on future deals.
'Whatever course the UK's withdrawal from the European Union takes, trade legislation and customs tariffs will continue to be important for businesses trading with the UK and on the continent. Customs Connect is primed to meet this increased demand and the investment by NVM should allow the company to realise its growth potential.'
Shoosmiths' corporate team advises public and private companies, management teams, investors and debt providers through the business life cycle. Shoosmiths works with businesses from start-up and first round finance through to mergers and acquisitions, MBO and MBI transactions, development funding and on exits, by way of sale, listing or private equity investment.
Nationally, the corporate team is ranked in joint first place by deal volume in Experian's UK Deal Review and Advisor League Table. The team was recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.