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Market Confidence Grows As Irwin Mitchell Sheffield Announces Third Deal In A Week

Latest Deal Sees HLM Group Buy Sidell Gibson Architects


By David Shirt

The Sheffield office of law firm Irwin Mitchell has announced the completion of the third deal in a week, following news that it has advised HLM on its acquisition of architecture, urban design and interiors practice, Sidell Gibson.
HLM is architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, master planning, interior design and sustainability practice.  In addition to its office in Sheffield, it has a presence in London, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and Plymouth in the UK, as well as Johannesburg and Abu Dhabi. 
The newly acquired practice will trade as Sidell Gibson and be run independently of HLM, operating from new offices in central London. The team will continue to build on its expertise in high quality commercial buildings, housing and restoration projects. 
The deal follows the announcement (22 September) that it advised Underwood Meat Company on its acquisition of Bramley Foods. Last week the firm revealed it has supported Chesterfield-based Prolog Print Media on its purchase of Rugby-based Datagraphic Limited.

Matt Ainsworth, corporate partner at Irwin Mitchell, advised on all three deals. He said: “To announce three deals in the space of a week is very satisfying and certainly indicates that confidence is returning, particularly in the SME market. Our deal pipeline looks strong and we expect to see a further increase in activity in the final quarter of 2013.”

In relation to the HLM transaction, he added: “We are delighted to have advised HLM on its second strategic transaction this year. This deal is important for HLM, but also represents good news for Sidell Gibson and its clients. The transaction is the start of a new era for Sidell Gibson and provides the business with the financial stability to move forward with certainty, whilst enabling it to continue building its strong architectural reputation.”

Chris Liddle, chairman of HLM, said: “We are excited about the opportunity of supporting the work and heritage of Sidell Gibson into the future. Having worked closely with Ron Sidell throughout the process, this deal allows Sidell Gibson to retain its strong identity and position in the industry, and we are now in discussion with a number of clients about taking projects forward.”
HLM’s work spans the private and public sectors, including education, health, defence, justice, civic, commercial and residential as well as mixed-use developments. It has strong expertise in many procurement forms including PPP/PFI, partnering and framework schemes.
Earlier this year, Irwin Mitchell advised HLM on a strategic investment in the internationally recognised Llewelyn Davies brand.

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