In May 2010, Strand Hanson was appointed to advise the board of Castle Support Services plc (“Castle”), the provider of high quality specialist electro-mechanical inspection, maintenance and repair services, on a recommended cash offer by a wholly-owned UK subsidiary of Sulzer Limited (“Sulzer”) for a total consideration of £127.5 million. The Sulzer Group, listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange with a market capitalisation of more than CHF3 billion, specialises in the manufacture of industrial machinery and equipment, surface technology and rotating equipment maintenance. The offer price represented a 70.1% premium to the closing price prior to the announcement by Castle that it had received a number of provisional approaches.
Strand Hanson acted as financial adviser and the mandate included independent advice to the board as to whether the terms of the offer were fair and reasonable, the procurement of irrevocable undertakings from Castle’s major shareholders and assistance in negotiations with both Sulzer and its advisers. The transaction was executed in accordance with a very tight timetable, ahead of anticipated adverse CGT changes in the coalition Government’s Emergency Budget, with the offer being declared wholly unconditional within just one day of launch following the receipt of valid acceptances in respect of more than 94.5% of the issued share capital held outside treasury. Strand Hanson was awarded the prestigious deal adviser of the year award by the European M&A Atlas for the advice provided on this transaction.