Midwich Group plc IPO

National law firm Mills & Reeve advised technology distributor Midwich Group plc on its £165 million AIM IPO and related £75 million fundraising

Midwich, a specialist audio visual (AV) and document solutions distributor, stood out last year in Mills & Reeve’s Full Scale Ahead report as an example of a business which had overcome the challenges faced by ambitious mid-sized companies when looking to scale-up. Since then, the company has successfully floated on AIM to the tune of £165 million.

The report, which was based on interviews with 500 business leaders from across Britain, highlighted how Midwich changed hands through management buy-outs and, in an unusual move, the lead corporate finance adviser on the deal, Stephen Fenby, left Deloitte in 2004 to join Midwich as finance director and shareholder. Stephen has been the managing director since 2010, the majority shareholder since 2013 and has been instrumental in Midwich’s growth and success.

The Mills & Reeve team was led by corporate partner and capital markets specialist Stephen Hamilton. Speaking about the IPO deal, Stephen said: “Midwich has shown resilience and consistently profitable performance for many years. The fact that its fundraising was significantly oversubscribed is testament to the Midwich team’s dedication and commitment.”

The team also included corporate lawyers Sofie de Pfeiffer and Hannah Lawley, employment specialist Alex Lowe and corporate tax and share incentives partner Christopher Townsend assisted by Carrie Ferris. Advice on Midwich’s bank refinancing was provided by banking partner Zak Virgin with assistance from banking assistant Georgina Wade. Principal associate Alex Kenworthy advised on pensions. Members of Mills & Reeve’s Legal Services Team, including William Kemp, Laura Williams, Louise Brownsey, Ross Buckingham, Alice Seager and Laura Macdonald, were also significantly involved in project managing and coordinating various aspects of the transaction.

Corporate partner Tom Pickthorn leads Mills & Reeve’s relationship with Midwich and has acted for the company for over ten years having advising on a range of matters including a series of management buy-outs.

The Mills & Reeve team was assisted in relation to the non-UK aspects of the transaction by relationship firms in Germany (Graf von Westphalen), France (FIDAL), Ireland (Bailey Homan Smyth McVeigh) and Australia (Holman Webb).

Investec Bank acted as nominated adviser, sole bookrunner and broker. Grant Thornton UK were reporting accountants and Norton Rose Fulbright were legal adviser to Investec.

With operations in the UK and Ireland, France, Germany and Australasia, Midwich has long-standing relationships with over 300 vendors, including blue-chip organisations such as Samsung, LG, Epson and NEC and supports a comprehensive product portfolio across major audio visual categories such as large format displays, projectors, digital signage and printers. Midwich’s customers are professional AV integrators and IT resellers serving sectors such as corporate, education, retail, residential and hospitality.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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