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TLT advises on major transaction in the industrial minerals market

TLT advises shareholders of leading mineral by-products recycling business on its sale to Sweden's state-owned LKAB Minerals.

TLT's corporate team has advised on a major transaction in the industrial minerals market with the sale (subject to merger clearance) of Francis Flower to Swedish state-owned LKAB Minerals – one of the world's leading producers of highly upgraded iron ore products.

Francis Flower will be fully integrated into LKAB Minerals' existing UK business under the leadership of LKAB UK and European minerals head Darren Wilson.  Francis Flower founder and current CEO Adrian Willmott will take on a consultancy role to support the integration of the two businesses.

Founded in 1953, Francis Flower built its business through recycling by-products from industrial process to provide a range of products and services to customers in the construction, agriculture, paints, plastics and pharmaceutical sectors. Francis Flower employs 130 people across four sites in England; Scunthorpe, Wicken, Gurney Slade and Runcorn.

Francis Flower currently sells approximately 70 million pounds worth of mineral products across multiple sites in the UK to customers including the likes of Tarmac, Hanson and Cemex. LKAB sees further growth for the UK business with the acquisition strengthening their offer to the building and construction industries.

Francis Flower is a family owned business, and the main shareholder is Adrian Willmott, Chairman and CEO, who upon completion of the sale will resign his position in the business but remain available in a consultancy capacity during an integration phase to support a seamless continuation of the business. Adrian commented:

“The TLT team delivered exactly what they promised at the outset of the deal. They kept me in the know at all times and Andrew, James and the team were always on hand when I had a query. The team hit what were often short deadlines and throughout took the time to listen and understand our objectives which is exactly what they delivered on. They really were a pleasure to work with.”

Andrew Webber, TLT corporate partner said:

This was a complex deal requiring a multi-disciplined team across the firm, who understand the sector, to ensure that it was negotiated effectively and in a timely manner. Having known Adrian, the other shareholders and management team of Francis Flower for a number of years, it was a real pleasure to work with them on this transaction which recognises the fantastic business that they have built. We wish the new owners every success for the future.”

Partner Andrew Webber led the TLT team advising Francis Flower alongside Corporate Associate James Webb and Solicitor Holly Evans. The TLT team worked closely with KPMG's Bristol Corporate Finance team on the deal, led by Andrew Hodgson and John Levis.

Earlier this year TLT was named as Corporate Law Firm of the Year at the Insider South West Dealmakers Awards 2018. James Webb was also awarded Young Dealmaker of the Year.

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