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Leading Durham law firm, Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison), has advised two entrepreneurial brothers, Richard and Peter Bennett, in respect of a merger of each of their highly successful businesses.

The merger is intended to expand their reach, range of services and market share within the print and signage industry.

Richard and Julie Bennett (directors of commercial printing operation, NPS Print, which is based on Whitehouse Industrial Estate, Newcastle) and Peter Bennett (managing director of large format and digital printing company, Strategic Print at Sunderland Enterprise Park) decided that as their businesses provided complementary services, merging the two would bring a host of new opportunities and provide a service of greater depth and support to their existing clients.

The merger saw Swinburne Maddison’s Alex Wilby, a partner in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, representing the Bennett family’s interests once again, having previously acted in the disposal of Derwentside Environmental Testing Services Limited to Suez in 2016 and in the acquisitions of Atkinson Print Limited in 2019 and Caremore Services Limited in July 2021.

Carefully planned for the last 12 months, the merger will see all 20 members of staff retained across both companies, without any duplication of roles.

The newly formed business began trading under the name of NPS Ltd at the beginning of July.

For the moment, the restructured business will operate from NPS’ current premises with a move to larger premises looking increasingly likely at some stage in the future as the business grows.

Commenting on the merger, which in addition to the transactional M&A activity also required detailed advice on corporate governance and shareholder agreements, Alex Wilby said:

“It’s great to be working again with Richard and Julie and I am pleased they called upon us to provide legal advice at this exciting stage in the development of their business interests.

“At Swinburne Maddison we understand and can implement complex shareholder arrangements spanning multiple companies and integrated group structures, so we were ideally placed to advise on the merger, which I am certain will provide distinct advantages as the business grows.  We wish them all success.”

Day-to-day, the merger will make little difference to operations as teams from both companies have already spent some time working and training together for the benefit of customers, who will be able to access a larger range of additional services from under one roof.

Richard Bennett said:  “As individuals, Peter and I were fortunate to preside over two successful businesses which had much in common yet provided complementary, non-competing services.  We had discussed the possibility and practicalities of working together for some time and in essence, the more we looked at it, the more it made perfect sense.

“As we both have national clients, the merger will not only strengthen our combined performance, bringing together Peter’s vast print knowledge and Julie’s and my scale up experience, but we are also looking at new capital investment in equipment to streamline the operation and of course, create further efficiencies in the existing businesses.

“We are looking forward to offering an expanded range of services to our customers up and down the country, which will inevitably lead to some future job creation and are excited by the opportunities that will undoubtedly lie ahead in new markets.”

Alex Wilby was assisted in the transaction by associate solicitor, Ellie Bradshaw, and trainee solicitor, Ashley Patterson.

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