Clearwater’s Paul Newell awarded Financial Adviser of the Year


Clearwater Midlands partner, Paul Newell has received industry recognition for his transaction skills on the back of the £22.2 million buy-out of Sunway Travel. Newell was last night announced as the winner of The Private Equity Award’s ‘Financial Adviser of the Year Award’.

Up against competition from the big four accountants and merchant banks, Newell received the award at a prestigious ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London in front of over 1000 of his peers.

“This is an outstanding achievement and fully endorses Clearwater as the largest, independent corporate finance in the UK focusing on the mid market,” said a jubilant Newell. “It’s a testament to our deal origination credentials and our ability to bring together an experienced team to complete a very complicated deal in nine weeks rather than nine months!

“It clearly demonstrates that you don’t have to be an enormous one stop shop to deliver quality and to achieve this recognition just five weeks after completing our own Management Buy-Out is tremendous”.

Sponsored by the BVCA (British Venture Capital Association) the coveted annual awards saw Newell in the company of Candover, who won ‘Private Equity House of the Year’ with Barclays Private Equity achieving ‘Fund of the Year’ and The Royal Bank of Scotland as ‘Bank Debt Provider of the Year’.

Head of Clearwater in the Midlands, Phil Burns added; “It’s even more pleasing to be the only corporate finance boutique to be nominated for the award. To then win it and to prise it out of the hands of the big four and merchant banks is an excellent achievement and our congratulations go to Paul and his team.”

According to the chairman of the judging panel, Newell’s award is ‘a terrific achievement’. The award comes on the back of the £22.2 million buy-out of Sunway Travel (Coaching) Ltd, a deal which was completed in just nine weeks. Clearwater’s private equity team in the Midlands – led by Newell – masterminded one of the region’s largest private equity transactions of the year (in December 2002), when 3i’s Manchester team and the Royal Bank of Scotland in Nottingham funded the Sunway deal.

Sunway, based in Rotherham is a niche coach holiday operator offering a varied selection of coaching holidays from the UK to destinations throughout continental Europe through the Leger Holidays brand. It specialises in trips to Euro Disney and other themed tours such as the Battlefields, Dutch Bulb Fields and continental Christmas markets.

Newell added: “The Sunway deal was a sizeable transaction and there were many issues arising – stock exchange requirements, dealing with a vendor with its own internal issues, complex industry legislation, insurance industry complications and a competing trade bid at the 11th hour.”