New Client For Irwin Mitchell’s Corporate Department

Firm Advises New Management In Taking Stake In Fired Earth

26.05.2011

National law firm Irwin Mitchell’s Corporate team has advised the management team of Fired Earth in acquiring a 28% stake in the company. Fired Earth is a subsidiary of upmarket cooker maker Aga Rangemaster. 

In what is effectively an in-house private-equity solution, Aga has offered the 10 managers of Fired Earth, led by Andrew Manders the chance to own 28% of the business if they can achieve a significant turnaround in three years. The paint and tiles business had reported a £2 million trading loss last year on sales of £22 million.

The management team will work on an agreed three year development plan, including a greater focus on its tile operations and exploiting the leads it gets from the rest of the business. At the end of the three years, Aga will have three options: to sell the business to a trade buyer or private equity, or ideally, Fired Earth will be up and working within the Aga group and will buy out the management for cash. Whatever the outcome, there is much scope for the newly incentivised management team.

The Irwin Mitchell team was led by Corporate Partner David Beech, assisted by Paul Smith. Aga Rangemaster was advised by John Pryor of DLA.

Commenting, David Beech said, “This is an innovative approach with a PLC parent company adopting an almost private equity style attitude to its subsidiary. We are delighted to be involved in such an entrepreneurial transaction, which some commentators have said could lead the way for other large companies with problem subsidiaries.”