French buyer completes Routeco acquisition

Oct 31, 2014

The deal provides a full exit for the founding shareholders. The management team, which performed a management buy-out in 2011, will retain a stake for its shareholders under the terms of the deal.

Routeco, which was founded in 1978 and now employs around 100 people in Milton Keynes, will continue as a separate business unit within Sonepar’s Northern Europe operations.

The firm has its UK headquarters (pictured) at Knowlhill and appointed corporate lawyers at neighbours EMW to act for the management team shareholders.

The deal was a complex one. Routeco also has operations in Austria and the Netherlands and, because of aggregate turnover of Routeco’s and Sonepar’s companies in Austria, completion of the deal depended on the consent of the Austrian Federal Competition Authority.

Routeco chief executive Ian Stewart said: “We are pleased to have completed the sale of our business to Sonepar, and are very grateful for the excellent advice we received from the team at EMW. They ensured the management team secured a strong position in relation to the sale itself and our continuing equity participation in the business.”

A team of five EMW lawyers, led by chairman Ian Morris and principal Simon Arkell, advised the management team shareholders. Mr Morris said: “We are very pleased to have advised the management team shareholders on a transaction that was, for its size, complexity and geographical location, a very important transaction for EMW.” 

Fellow Milton Keynes-based law firm Dentons advised the founder shareholders during the transaction. 

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