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TLT advises The Consortium on landmark acquisition and disposal deals

National law firm TLT has advised on the sale of The Consortium, the UK's leading independent supplier of consumable products to schools, on its sale to Smiths News Plc for £38 million.

The deal completed within a week of The Consortium's own acquisition of West Mercia Supplies (WMS), a public sector buying organisation, from its four local authority owners.

TLT advised on both deals, involving specialist expertise from TLT's corporate, banking, commercial, employment, real estate and pensions teams.

Corporate partner Andrew Webber, who led the teams on both deals, says: "The combination of these businesses is a great result for all involved at both organisations. The Consortium's management team will bring significant expertise to Smiths News and The Consortium will benefit from the enhanced resource which being part of a growing and diversifying public company will bring. Completing the purchase followed by a subsequent transaction brought challenges, but the management remained focused and pragmatic throughout, enabling us to complete the sale over a compressed timescale. Deals such as this highlight the strengths that well-resourced regional corporate practices have in the current market."

Peter Naylor, a senior associate in the corporate team, worked closely with Andrew on the corporate aspects of the transactions.

Melanie Teal, Chief Executive of The Consortium said: “We were delighted with the advice and support that we received from the team at TLT. They worked closely with us throughout the process and focused on delivery of our objectives. We were impressed with the tenacity and commitment that the team demonstrated in ensuring that both deals were completed on time. We even had a few laughs along the way….I would have no hesitation in recommending TLT.”

TLT's corporate team acts for an impressive list of UK and international clients from major FTSE listed Plcs through to venture capitalists, banks and financial institutions. In the last few months the team has advised on some of the keynote deals completed in the South West, including advising Ecotricity, the UK's largest independent renewable electricity producer, on its bond issue to invest in new renewable energy projects, the sale of Scott Law to PHS Group Plc and the investment in Happy Days Nursery by ISIS Equity Partners.

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