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Irwin Mitchell Advise On Multi-Million Pound Sale Of Covpress

Deal Illustrates ABL’s Growing Role in Funding M&A Activity


By David Shirt

The Birmingham office of Irwin Mitchell has advised ABN AMRO as in-coming funders on the multi-million pound acquisition of Coventry-based automotive supplier, Covpress, by Shandong Yongtai and Shropshire-based TIA (GB) Treadsetters Ltd.

Covpress, which has a turnover of £67m and employs over 450 people at its plant in Canley, is one of the oldest manufacturing firms in the world.  In addition to producing body panels for clients including Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Renault, Covpress is also a major supplier of the new generation of gas meters for the European market.

The transaction was financed through a combination of equity, debt from Chinese bank BOCOMM and asset backed facilities provided by ABN AMRO. Irwin Mitchell’s Banking & Finance team in Birmingham, led by partner Jon Bew, advised two divisions of ABN AMRO based in the UK and in Holland. The funding structure was a first for ABN AMRO.

Covpress managing director Mike Gillett said: “This Chinese investment is great news for Covpress, its employees, customers and suppliers and also for Coventry and the West Midlands.”

Jon Bew at Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham said: “This transaction is significant in that it reflects the continuing confidence in the UK shown by overseas investors but also once again marks out the West Midlands as the key area in the UK for inward investment.  

“In addition, the transaction further highlights how asset based lending complements traditional sources of funding and traditional transaction structures. At Irwin Mitchell, we act for a significant proportion of the asset based lenders and it is heartening for us to see the gradual upturn in the UK economy, being translated to financing and re-financing activity with asset based lending core to maintaining the momentum being built up.”

Jeremy Smith at ABN AMRO commented: “This was a ground breaking deal for ABN AMRO in that it combined facilities from divisions of the bank in both the UK and the Netherlands. The Irwin Mitchell team’s experience in the UK asset based lending market played a key part in developing a combined package for the customer which provided a sophisticated solution for the financing of the transaction and for their future investment plans.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Mergers & Acquisitions