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North East Advisers Complete Sale of Filebase Ltd in Record Time

DEALMAKERS at business advisers UNW and Square One Law worked round the clock to sell a family-run information management business to its AIM-listed buyer in record time.

It took the Newcastle teams just 13 working days to secure the sale of Filebase Ltd, which operates out of two sites in Washington, to London-based Restore PLC.

The acquisition of Filebase also comes less than a month after Restore bought up Magnum Secure Ltd, with operations in Spennymoor, County Durham, for £4.6m.

Long-established Filebase specialises in document management, tape management, archiving, shredding and scanning.

UNW corporate finance senior manager John Healey, who worked on the disposal alongside corporate finance executive Leon Cassidy and tax partner Steve Lant, said: “Filebase is a long standing client of UNW’s, having handled its tax and accounting affairs for some time.

“The fact that the deal was concluded so quickly demonstrates how aggressive strategic buyers are at the moment, to conclude on the acquisition of high quality businesses before they are snapped up by competitors.

“We are increasingly being approached by strategic trade acquirers and private equity houses looking to invest in the region. This competition to deploy capital is driving strong pricing for high quality businesses. Now is a good time for those considering a full or partial change of ownership to take stock of their options.

“This was a classic example of what can be achieved by running a tight sales process with a high quality business in today’s buoyant mergers and acquisitions market.

“Everyone here and at Square One worked hard to bring this over the line and we wish Restore well as it becomes an even more significant player in this sector and increases its North-East foothold.”

Filebase director David Sanderson said: “I am very pleased that Filebase has become part of Restore Plc, and welcome the opportunities this presents for the business and its staff.

“The process was incredibly smooth and well managed, which minimised distraction and disruption to the business whilst also delivering a fantastic result for all concerned.”

Square One Law corporate-commerical senior associate John Hammill said: “Time was of the essence for all parties and so teamwork was essential to produce the result the clients wanted and hit the tight deadlines.”

Restore PLC chief executive Charles Skinner said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange: “This acquisition continues our strategy of enhancing shareholder value through consolidating smaller UK records management businesses.

“The addition of Filebase further extends our UK market share and provides the group with additional cross-selling opportunities.”

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