Law firm helps fire up new acquisition | 25 August 09

LAW firm Ward Hadaway helped Tyneside fireplace maker Be Modern blaze an expansion trail by advising on the company’s acquisition of Midlands stove specialist Broseley Fires.

The firm’s corporate department provided legal advice on the deal, which turns South Shields-based Be Modern into a £30m turnover business.

Be Modern is already the UK’s largest fireplace manufacturer.

The acquisition of Shrewsbury-based Broseley for an undisclosed seven-figure sum expands Be Modern’s product range to include gas stoves, wood burners, biomass appliances and other equipment, as well as extending the company’s nationwide reach.

John Harris, group finance director at Be Modern, said: “Ward Hadaway has advised us on a range of intellectual property and commercial property matters in recent years and we have always been impressed with the speed and quality of service.

“This was the first acquisition on which the firm has advised us and I am pleased to say their high standards were maintained.

“The team involved did an excellent job on what is a very important deal for the future of the company.”

Ward Hadaway corporate finance associate Ross Paterson advised Be Modern on the deal.

Ross said: “We were delighted to help Be Modern to expand their successful business with this strategically important acquisition.

“The company is a long-standing client of Ward Hadaway so we were obviously pleased that they chose to instruct us on such an important transaction.

“Be Modern is proof positive of the health of the North-East’s manufacturing sector and of its ambitions for the future.”

As well as the acquisition of the company, the Broseley deal also involved putting in place new arrangements for senior management at Broseley.

Broseley managing director John Reeves is staying on at the company to play a key role in the newly enlarged Be Modern group.

John Harris said: “Broseley Fires is an excellent company whose products have always been well received and highly regarded by the market so we were delighted to acquire the business.

“We feel that Broseley is an excellent strategic fit for Be Modern, enabling us to expand our product range and add to our client base.

“These are definitely exciting times for the company and we look forward to working with John and the team at Broseley.”

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