Award-winning Castle Corporate Finance recently advised the owners of Maidstone-based KPS (Group) Ltd on the successful sale of their company to The Danwood Group Ltd. The deal was very much a local affair with the team at Castle being referred to the vendors by Tony Leach of Tunbridge Wells’ accountants Ward Mackenzie, with legal advice provided to the vendor by Victoria Ansell from CooperBurnett Solicitors, also based in Tunbridge Wells.
Established in 1991 by husband and wife team, Mark and Julie Burnett, KPS is a leading independent supplier of office solutions, including photocopiers, printers, facsimile and multifunctional devices. The company prides itself on building strong, long-term relationships with its clients and it has developed solid partnerships with both its own staff and its supply chain.
Mike Norrie and Colin Harvey from Castle Corporate Finance were introduced to the deal in early summer 2011, with the view to advising on a potential disposal.
“Selling a company is primarily about the people involved and initially establishing whether it’s the right time for them to sell,” says Mike. “You need to work that out first, before anything else can happen.”
A number of potential buyers were approached and Lincoln-based Danwood was identified as the ideal buyer. Danwood is the largest independent provider of office printing equipment and document management solutions in the UK. This acquisitive company is building a nationwide presence and recognised that KPS would provide a perfect fit and offer an established Kent presence, to support its existing 40 offices nationwide.
“The deal was agreed at our target pricing expectation – pleasing within the current economic climate and reflecting the quality of the KPS business and people,” says Mike. “We are proud that this was a truly local deal with the vendor’s advisers based in West Kent.”
Mark Burnett is staying on with Danwood, as regional sales director, and is looking forward to driving the company forward under new ownership.
“Mike at Castle Corporate Finance was great at leading us through the sale process,” says Mark Burnett. “Selling a company is generally something you only do once in a lifetime and we couldn’t have done it without Castle and the legal and accounting support of Victoria and Tony. Their experience was invaluable and they also understood the emotions involved as well – which is something we didn’t really appreciate at the outset. When you’ve built something up over so many years, you are really connected to it, and it matters who buys it and how the sale process pans out.”