Royds Withy King corporate team help get logistics acquisition on the road to completion

January 13, 2022
The Bath office of regional law firm Royds Withy King has advised logistics and warehousing group OTIF on its third acquisition in five years – with the latest taking its turnover above £40m.
The firm’s corporate team, led by partner Katharine Mortimer, pictured, worked with ther Swindon office of corporate finance specialist Watersheds on the deal for OTIF, which has depots in Andover, Blackburn, Derby and Halesowen. 

The acquisition of Barnsley-based distribution and warehousing services specialist John Truswell & Sons adds 70 trucks and 180 trailers to OTIF’s fleet.
The OTIF Group, named after the group’s commitment to delivering “on time in full”, provides logistics to some of the UK’s leading retailers. It has a comprehensive network of haulage contacts as well as its own dedicated transport fleet.
OTIF’s takeover of John Truswell & Sons, which has an annual turnover of £10m, follows its acquisition of Kenyon Group in 2016 and Adam Jones Group in 2019. Watersheds worked on all three deals.
OTIF owner, entrepreneur Graham Darnell, said he was delighted to work with Watersheds and Royds Withy King as he continued to develop the business.
“I started this acquisition journey with Watersheds five years ago, and we have built up a great relationship over that time,” he said.
“It was particularly important to me that I could continue to focus on running OTIF Group, so once again having Watersheds negotiate the deal, raise the funds and project-manage the process throughout was crucial. 
“There were many parties involved, including three sets of lawyers, funders, property valuers, asset valuers and two sets of accountants, so it was complex, yet they still managed to achieve a completion date within three months of agreeing heads of terms.
“I was also grateful to be working with the Royds Withy King’s legal team again, led by Katharine Mortimer.  

“There was a lot of work to be done by the legal team regarding the funding and the team were able to progress this efficiently and effectively as well as advise me through the legal process.”
Katharine Mortimer added: “We were delighted to work with Graham and Watersheds on this latest acquisition. Particularly welcome was seeing how the collaboration between buyer and seller worked out in practice. 
“As in all transactions, employee engagement is key and in a company such as Truswells where length of service is measured in decades, it is hugely encouraging to see all parties supporting the business under Graham’s ownership.”
Watersheds partner Wendy Lam, pictured, said the deal had been one of the smoothest to date and a big contributing factor had been the collaboration with Royds Withy King.  
“Watersheds have worked with Katharine’s team on a number of deals in the past and both understand how critical it is to have the right advisors who will work in partnership, if you want a successful outcome,” she added.
Funding for the acquisition was provided by Manchester-based Praetura Commercial Finance.
Pictured below, from left: Watersheds partner Wendy Lam, OTIF Group owner Graham Darnell and Royds Withy King corporate finance partner Katharine Mortimer



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