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Irwin Mitchell Advises Pattonair On £145.8m Management Buy Out

Deal Highlights Firm's Growing Private Equity Business


National law firm Irwin Mitchell's corporate department has advised the management team of Pattonair, the supply chain business, in respect of its MBO from its parent aerospace firm Umeco plc, for £145.8 million.  The deal has been backed by private equity firm Exponent Private Equity.

Pattonair, which counts Rolls Royce, BAE Systems and the US Department of Defense among its customers, had a turnover of £235 million in 2010, representing more than half of Umeco's £409 million annual sales.  The management will be led by new Group CEO Wayne Hollinshead.

David Beech, corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell said, "This is a significant deal for Pattonair as it will allow the management team to focus on the growth opportunities that exist within the aerospace market."

The deal is also a further example of Irwin Mitchell's expanding private equity business. The firm recently advised the management of Fired Earth in acquiring a 28% stake in the company from its parent Aga Rangemaster.

David Beech continued, "We are seeing a strong appetite among PE houses to transact and get deals over the line - despite the continuing challenge of attracting bank debt.  Although there have not been too many 100% equity deals, structures are constantly evolving.  This in turn has created a challenge for the advisory community, but at the same time an opportunity for those with a specialist expertise and an ability to think innovatively."

The Irwin Mitchell team was led by corporate partner David Beech, assisted by Paul Smith. Lucie Cawood of Travers Smith advised Exponent and Slaughter and May advised Umeco plc.