Thursfields’ corporate team advises on sale of Amvar Group

Pic cap: Malcolm Mitchell (centre) with Reece De-Vaney (left) and Tim Edwards of Thursfields Solicitors

 

The corporate team at Thursfields Solicitors has advised on the sale of Amvar Group to Dunstall Holdings Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

Amvar Group, based in Cradley Heath, includes Amvar Handling Solutions Limited & Amvar Storage & Workplace Solutions Limited. It was founded by managing director Malcolm Mitchell in 1998.

The group provides comprehensive materials handling, storing and workplace solutions and is an authorised dealer for the TCM range of forklift trucks in the West Midlands area, and also supplies the Flexi articulating truck and Combilift multi-directional forklift truck.

Thursfields’ team was led by Tim Edwards, a director in the corporate team, and Stewart Coles, a senior associate in the commercial property team.

Staffordshire-based Dunstall Holdings Ltd, which has a turnover in excess of £100 million, has been expanding rapidly in the worklift and materials handling sector.

Amvar MD Malcolm Mitchell said: “The purchase of the Amvar Group by Dunstall Holdings Ltd comes after ten years of impressive growth and complements Dunstall’s rapid expansion of their coverage within the UK, strengthening their position in the forklift and materials handling sector.

“The deal will provide additional investment in key areas of Amvar to improve the product and service offerings and build its position in the market.

“Tim Edwards and his team at Thursfields handled the sale in a very professional, efficient and friendly manner all the way through the process.

Tim Edwards said: “We are delighted to have assisted Malcolm on the sale of his business which he has developed over the past 20 years into one of the region’s largest providers of forklift trucks and machinery.”

Wilkes Tranter & Co Accountants and Thursfields Solicitors advised Malcolm Mitchell, while David Williams of Astle Paterson Solicitors and accountants Mazars acted for Dunstall Holdings Ltd.

Stephen Tranter, managing director of Wilkes Tranter, said: “We have known Malcolm Mitchell for over 25 years and I am delighted that, working with the corporate team at Thursfields, we were able to bring this deal to a satisfactory conclusion for the benefit of both parties.

“The deal was identified, negotiated and concluded in a relatively short timescale which is a tribute to all the professionals involved.”

Dunstall Holdings, owned by local entrepreneur and farmer Simon Clarke, is a business based in Staffordshire. The acquisition of AMVAR represents the third major acquisition completed by Dunstall Holdings following the acquisition of its agricultural business, Rea Valley Tractors in 2010 & Lift West in 2018. 

Ends (382 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978256.

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields,

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in eight offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields warns of changes on the horizon for agricultural tenants

Agricultural tenants have less than 12 weeks to comment on proposals which could mean far reaching changes, according to experts in the agricultural and estates team at Thursfields Solicitors.

Sarah Denney-Richard, director and head of agricultural, said that DEFRA has announced a 12 week consultation period on significant reforms to agricultural tenancy legislation.

She said: “The consultation, which ends on 2 July 2019, is seeking views and evidence on two particular issues.

“Whether current restrictions on agricultural mortgages are a barrier to landowners wishing to lend land, and whether there is a need to provide additional protections against the repossession of agricultural land for business borrowers who are unable to meet finance repayments under secured loans.”

The main proposals concern:

The ability for an Agricultural Holdings Act tenant to “sell” their tenancy to a third party tenant. The landlord could offer to buy the tenancy back in order to avoid the sale but if they let it go through then they would have the ability to bring the new arrangement to an end after 25 years.

Relaxing the rules relating to passing an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy on to the next generation.

Options under consideration include:

Allowing tenants to retire and pass the tenancy on at any age rather than the current 65 year minimum age, but putting a maximum age of 5 years after the state pension age.

Extending the category of persons entitled to apply for succession to include co-habitees, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Removing the “commercial unit test” which prevents an applicant who already farms a commercial farm from applying to take a succession tenancy on.

Replacing the “suitability” test with a “business competency test” focused on a wider range of commercial considerations.

Other initiatives under consideration are to:

Provide a dispute resolution mechanism to enable tenants to challenge tenancy clauses which restrict their ability to grow their business.

Encourage landlords to invest in and offer financial support to tenants wishing to grow their business by treating such investing more fairly in rent reviews.

Allow landlords who let their land on farm business tenancies to get the land back sooner, for development or non-agricultural use, following the death of the tenant and when the tenant does not pay their rent.

Sarah Denney-Richard said: “Agricultural tenants and landowners need to be aware of these potential changes and the impact they could have. They can react and comment by completing the “Give us your views” survey available here.

“Anyone who is concerned about the potential impact on their business and livelihood should take professional advice and ensure they monitor any changes that come into law.”

Sarah Denney-Richards can be contacted at sdenney-richards@thursfields.co.uk or by calling 01905 730486.

Ends (448 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 01789 490786 or mobile 07990 978257.

www.thursfields.co.uk,

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields 

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in eight offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.

Wait until the new tax year before separating, Thursfields warns potential divorcees

Anyone thinking of separation and divorce might be better off waiting until the new tax year starts on or after 6 April 2019, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

The warning from the Midlands leading law firm is focused on the potential impact of Capital Gains Tax (CGT), the tax on the profit when you sell or dispose of assets that have increased in value, costing up to 28% of gains from property sales, or up to 20% of gains from other assets.

Susanne Leach, associate solicitor in the Family department in Thursfields’ Kidderminster office, explained: “Up to and including the tax year of separation only, the transfer of assets between spouses is exempt from CGT as ‘connected parties’ with no gain and no loss. 

“That’s the position until Decree Absolute, even though you may no longer be living together at the time of the transfer, and applies to assets such as an interest in a rental property or holiday home, investments or shares in a family business between husband and wife.

“After the tax year of separation, the transfer of assets between spouses will usually be treated as a ‘transfer at market value’, which means any gain in value since the asset was acquired may be liable for CGT.”

Ms Leach pointed out that potential CGT is not only significant to the overall assets but will also raise the question of who’s responsible for any liability, making the timing of divorce petitions a potentially crucial matter.

She said: “It may be disadvantageous to separate in March if the transfer of assets between you may give rise to CGT, given only a few weeks of the current tax year are left.

“The date of separation is a factual issue, and there may be an advantage to separating and issuing divorce proceedings early in the tax year to give time to reach a financial settlement, including a transfer of any assets which may attract CGT.”

Ms Leach underlined the importance of discussing such issues with an experienced matrimonial lawyer. She can be called on 01562 512428 or emailed at sleach@thursfields.co.uk.

Ends (349 words) 

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 0781 8004575.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in eight offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields encouraging West Midlands’ global trading companies to tighten up foreign commercial contracts

Canny companies in the West Midlands are formalising their supply, distribution and agency contracts whether they trade in Europe or on a global scale, according to Thursfields Solicitors.

Stuart Price, corporate and commercial director in the Birmingham office of Thursfields, said that Brexit and the need to trade on a global stage, had prompted many companies to tighten up and possibly extend their formal trading relationships with their foreign-based distributors, suppliers and customers.

“The canny ones are ahead of the game and have been putting more formalised relationships and agreements in place in the period since the results of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU were known,” he said.

The Birmingham office of Thursfields Solicitors has recently been advising companies trading with the United Arab Emirates, China and Germany, among others.

“Political developments and the increasing awareness of the 24/7, 365 days a year, nature of global trade combined with giant strides in e-commerce and fulfilment, has focused the mind of many CEOs and business owners,” said Stuart Price.

He said it was absolutely essential that companies understood not only how UK legislation affected them but also how any agreement would be treated in the target jurisdiction.

“There are many kinds of ‘business to business’ agreements, whether supply, distribution, agency or franchise, and it is vitally important to understand the differences and distinctions between all of them.”

A supply agreement sets out the basis upon which a supplier will provide goods or services, either to the end users or another business operating in a wider supply chain.

A distribution agreement forms the relationship between a supplier and a customer, where the customer purchases goods to then sell on in a particular territory. Often this type of agreement is exclusive and operates to lock out other competitors.

An agency agreement will come into effect where a company wishes to appoint someone in a particular territory to use their contacts in that that territory to market products. When orders are obtained, the company will then enter into a supply contract directly with the customer, often paying the sales agent a commission. 

A franchise agreement enables someone to purchase the right to operate a turnkey business operation in a particular territory. Again, there is often a degree of exclusivity in these arrangements, and generally intellectual property owned by the franchisor, is licensed for use.

The franchisor will often create what is known as a master franchise agreement for a wider territory and the recipient of that master agreement, will have the exclusive right to offer franchises to franchisees in that territory. This is, therefore, an effective way of growing an international franchise operation.

Stuart Price said: “Whereas no one likes onerous paperwork, taking the time to formalise your commercial relationships can actually be welcomed and bring comfort to both parties.”

“A little bit of certainty in a relationship is a rare commodity in these difficult times and something to be cherished by both parties!” he said.

Ends (496 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066 

Or 

Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 07990 978257.

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in eight offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields Solicitors supporting Solihull Business Expo

Legal experts from Thursfields Solicitors are taking part in the first Solihull Business Expo on Wednesday 27 March.

Jade Linton, associate solicitor in the employment team at Thursfields, will be appearing on an Ask the Experts panel, discussing how companies can manage performance from a human resources and employment law perspective.

Thursfields will also be one of 25 exhibitors at the event, which has been organised by Solihull Business Improvement District (BID).

Solihull Business Expo 2019, open to the public and businesses, runs from 10am to 4pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Homer Road, and those attending can pre-book onto various workshops, including:

  • a range of LinkedIn demonstrations for different levels
  • several digital marketing and social media sessions run by Google, and
  • an introduction to mental health first aid.

Jade Linton, who works at Thursfields’ office in Solihull, said: “I’m delighted to be a part of the town’s first Expo and together with my colleagues I’m looking forward to demonstrating all the skills and services that Solihull has to offer.”

Melanie Palmer, director of Solihull BID, said: “The first ever Solihull Business Expo showcasing our wealth of talent, vision and innovation promises to be one of the networking highlights of 2019.

“The interest in the workshops is gathering speed. We are expecting high numbers and this is one certainly not to miss.”

Everyone attending the Expo will go into a prize draw with a chance to win various valuable prizes.

More information is available here, and people can register for the Expo and secure places on one of the free workshops here.

Ends (263 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 0781 8004575

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 150 staff in eight offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Sedgley, Stourport-on-Severn, Solihull and Birmingham.

City bar and restaurant changes hands with help from Thursfields Solicitors

Thursfields Solicitors has helped a prominent Worcester bar and restaurant achieve a seamless transition to new ownership.

The Worcester office of the regional law firm has helped Catering Group (Midlands) Ltd, owned by Louise and Nicholas Fenton, acquire Primo Bar and Dining from the Cokaj family that founded the popular venue in February 2016.

The couple already own and run Bromsgrove-based Fire Safe Services Ltd and have already diversified into property, opening two luxury apartments for short term rental in Worcester under the trading name Boutique Suites last year.

And now the team at Thursfields has helped them expand their business interests into the bar and restaurant marketplace.

Louise Fenton said: “With Primo being offered on the market, we saw that there was an opportunity to take on a successful local business, and with Thursfields’ help we have been able to achieve a seamless transition into new ownership.

“We have retained the existing staff and will in time look to develop the business and our product offering with a view to making Primo Bar and Dining even more successful.”

There are plans to expand the scope and offering at Primo during 2019 and Mrs Fenton said they were already actively recruiting keen and enthusiastic team members.

She added: “Our business Fire Safe Services has been established for more than 15 years and has a good management team in place, and this has given us the scope to step to one side and look for further business opportunities.”

And she praised the team at Thursfields for achieving completion in just six weeks, against a provisional estimate by her former legal advisers of at least three months.

She said: “Collectively Thursfields did an amazing job. Individually, the team members exceeded all expectations and I have never worked with such professional lawyers before. This enabled us to complete on the timescale we wanted and an early completion to take advantage of the late Christmas trading period has been of significant commercial value to the project as a whole.”

The Thursfields’ team was led by corporate senior associate Tim Edwards, who was assisted by colleagues Lisa Kemp, who advised on employment matters, and Stewart Coles who advised on the property aspects and the assignment of the lease to Catering Group (Midlands) Ltd.

Tim Edwards said: “Primo Bar and Dining is a vibrant cocktail bar and restaurant offering seasonal English cuisine which has proven to be a very successful formula.

“It is located at 55 Sidbury in Worcester and is therefore well placed to take advantage of the recently redeveloped Cathedral Plaza retail mall which is something of a shopping magnet in this part of the city.”

Kate Walton of agents Hallmarks acted for the sellers.

Pic cap – Lisa Kemp, Stewart Coles, Tim Edwards of Thursfields Solicitors with Louise Fenton of Primo Bar and Dining

Ends (452 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors
Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066