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Gloucestershire Business News

BPE celebrates success throughout lockdown

Despite a nationwide downturn in business, the Corporate Team at Cheltenham-based BPE Solicitors has continued to be active and busy, supporting and advising clients throughout lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic.

The team has completed a number of deals in the past four months, across all areas of its expertise, including acquisitions, sales and fundraisings.

Louise Grzasko, corporate team leader and partner, advised specialist deep cleaning and decontamination business, REACT Group PLC, on an oversubscribed fundraising of £1.25 million. With support from solicitor, Kathryn King, Louise completed the deal to a tight deadline, enabling REACT Group, which is responding to the increased need for deep cleaning as a result of Covid-19 to continue with its ambitious growth plans.

This is the second fundraising that Louise has completed during lockdown. She acted for Location Sciences Group plc in April on a £0.975 million placing to raise funds to maintain the company's position in the UK location data and insights market and allow it to grow Verify, its location data verification product, both in the UK and overseas.

Partner Adam Kean has acted for insurance advisory business Partners& on a number of acquisitions, funded by a multi-million pound initial investment made by US private equity firm Capital Z Partners before lockdown, for an undisclosed amount which saw the company enter the Top 100 UK Brokers with £65m gross written premium.

This series of deals showcased the breadth and depth of expertise available at BPE and the quality of cross-team delivery.

Neptune Rum, the home-grown rum distillery based in Cheltenham, was bought by existing BPE clients James Strickland and Raymond Pugh during lockdown. Senior partner John Workman ensured the deal completed, and James and Raymond can now begin their ambitious growth plans for Neptune Rum post-lockdown.

The Corporate Team has also advised on the sale of a local hotel, The Clarence Court Hotel, despite the impact Covid-19 has had on the leisure and hospitality industry. Kathryn King advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital of the holding company, with assistance from Louise Grzasko and support from the firm's Commercial Property Team. This sale, for an undisclosed sum, has allowed the owners to pass the hotel onto experienced hoteliers who will continue the business's operations.

Most recently, Anthony Rudge has advised AIM quoted Versarien plc on a £5 million loan from Innovate UK. This was the largest loan ever made by Innovate UK and will fund Versarien's G SCALE project, enabling the Cheltenham-based engineering group to significantly increase the manufacture of quality assured graphene.

Louise Grzasko said: "I'm proud of the team showing such resilience and perseverance over the past few months and I am impressed with their ability to continue to complete deals through a global pandemic. These deals are just a few examples of the excellent work our team has been doing during these unprecedented times."

John Workman said: "Between them, the members of our Corporate Team have over 100 years of experience to offer clients and they deliver a city-level quality of work and a seamless service. We have supported clients throughout lockdown and will continue to do so as recovery begins, whether that's through sales and mergers, or supporting clients who are seizing an opportunity to make an acquisition or raise further funds."

For support for your business, contact Louise Grzasko or a member of the BPE Corporate team on 01242 224433 or https://www.bpe.co.uk 

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