Record half year for Clearwater

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Manchester-based Clearwater Corporate Finance will move to new 3,800 sq ft offices at the Chancery Place development in the city centre, having achieved record half-yearly deal figures. The firm, which currently located at Sovereign House on Queen’s Street, will relocate to the 14-storey glass office building on Brown Street on 12 November.

The move comes as Clearwater announces record H1 figures, having seen a 114 per cent increase in deal value and a 40 per cent increase in volume in the first six months of the year beginning April 2010, compared with the same period last year. Clearwater advised on 14 transactions worth £419m in H1.

The firm’s average deal size reached £30m in the first six months of the year, with three transactions with values over £50m. Of the 14 deals in the first half of the year, Clearwater originated 10 for the market.

Mike Reeves, managing partner at Clearwater in Manchester, said: “Having had a great start to our financial year, now is the perfect time to move to these stunning new offices and continue the growth we enjoyed during the first half of the year. The location is ideal for our employees and clients, as well as the deal making community in the city, and we all cannot wait to get set up there.”

Key transactions that Clearwater advised on during the financial year included the secondary buyout of XLN Telecom by ECI Partners; the sale of specialist teacher recruitment business, Teaching Personnel, to Graphite Capital; and the sale of DCC plc’s mobility and rehabilitation business to Patterson Medical Ltd, the UK subsidiary of US-based Patterson Companies Inc. In its largest deal, the firm advised residential property specialist, Adam Lawrence, in securing a £100m funding package – including a £50m equity investment from Graphite Capital – to support the development of his new house building company, London Square.

Support Services was the most active sector in H1, which accounted for half of all deals advised on by Clearwater. Other deals were spread across the firm’s consumer, healthcare, technology, and industrials and chemicals sector teams.

Reeves continued: “Despite an uncertain economic outlook, concerns surrounding widespread government cuts and continuing funding restrictions, we continued to advise on and originate some of the key mid-market deals in the UK in H1. Our proactive approach in sourcing new mandates is reaping rewards, while investment in our sector teams has allowed us to build strong, valued partnerships with UK corporates and investors alike.

“In H1, there were signs of a gradual recovery in the mid-market, with private equity houses beginning to compete for the best sector targets, and overseas corporates scouting out UK acquisitions to accelerate growth, and access the UK and wider European markets.”

60 per cent of trade sales involving Clearwater in H1 were cross-border deals. These transactions included the sale of Dublin-based crop protection chemicals developer, AgriGuard, to agricultural chemicals manufacturer and marketer, Mitsui Agriscience International – the Belgian-based subsidiary of Mitsui & Co, headquartered in Japan.

Reeves concluded: “We envisage that our cross-border deal volume will increase in the coming years, as more foreign groups seek acquisitions in the UK, and we extend our own contacts and relationships with acquisitive overseas groups.”