Gowling WLG advises STAR on £50 million acquisition of Synergy Health Management

28 July 2016

Gowling WLG's Corporate team, led by partner Ian Piggin, has advised client STAR Capital Partners (STAR) on its acquisition of Synergy Health Management Services Limited (SHMS) from Synergy Health (UK) Limited.

SHMS provides a range of sterile linen and laundry management services to hospitals and other healthcare providers throughout the UK including NHS Trusts, private hospitals, ambulance Trusts and healthcare and community Trusts.

Corporate partner Ian Piggin fielded a broad team of experts to assist STAR in its £50 million buyout. The corporate aspects of the deal were handled by Ian and principal associate Neil Hendron. Director Anna Colley led on the property aspects, principal associate Jennifer Lewis and associate Pete Miles provided pensions advice. Partner Mike Murphy handled tax and the transitional services arrangements were led by senior associate Alexi Markham, with trademark licensing negotiations being handled by partner Kate Swaine and senior associate Michael Carter. The Gowling WLG Transactional Services team led by director Greg Dunn carried out legal due diligence.

Partner Ian Piggin said: "This was a multi-faceted deal and necessitated a lot of involvement across the board. Fortunately, our cross-team approach meant that we could deal with the challenges in a timely and efficient manner, handling multiple aspects of the buyout simultaneously and delivering the deal to deadline. STAR were a pleasure to work with and we hope to advise them further in the future. This is the first acquisition made by STAR's third fund and we were delighted to have the opportunity to advise on its first investment."

Various members of the team undertook complex negotiations to ensure the buyout went to plan. As a subsidiary of the wider Synergy and Steris group, the transaction also had to deal with arrangements relating to extracting SHMS from that group structure and being able to operate on a standalone basis. Anna Colley (property), Jennifer Lewis (pensions) and Kate Swaine (intellectual property) were all involved, often on a parallel basis, in negotiating the arrangements in relation to this extraction and the complex issues which can arise in these scenarios.

Synergy was owned by US-listed company Steris plc, and the team was involved in additional work to assist Steris in delivering the deal by the required deadline.

Paul Gough, managing partner at STAR, said: "The Gowling WLG team provided timely and commercially-minded advice throughout the transaction in a clear and constructive manner. It was a great team effort to deliver the transaction and we are very much pleased with the result."

Gowling WLG's 60-strong Corporate team has extensive experience across the full spectrum of corporate advice, including equity capital markets on the AIM and Full List, investment funds, private equity and both public and private mergers & acquisitions.