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Higgs advises First Choice on its cross border acquisition by PT Holdings LLC

 

Article date:  09/03/2017

Specialists from Higgs & Sons' Corporate team along with Crowe Clark Whitehill have advised the shareholders of First Choice Group, the UK's number one supplier of spare parts for the catering industry on its acquisition by PT Holdings LLC, the parent company of Chicago based Parts Town.

PT Holdings LLC is the world's largest distributor of OEM parts for the foodservice industry and the acquisition will provide First Choice with access to the largest in-stock inventory of OEM parts globally.

The deal will also open up new markets for the First Choice Group in Europe and potential new partnerships with global brands.

The Higgs & Sons' team of advisers was led by Susheel Gupta and Jamie Partington who were supported by the Employment, Property, Commercial, Tax and Private Client teams. They worked alongside Andy Kay, Partner at national audit, tax and advisory firm Crowe Clark Whitehill, who provided vital specialist corporate finance input.

"We were delighted to have worked alongside the shareholders of First Choice and advised them on this major acquisition by PT Holdings," states Susheel Gupta, a Partner at Midlands based Higgs & Sons.

"As with all deals of this magnitude there were a number of challenges, particularly given its international aspect, but working in partnership with Crowe and our trusted international advisors ensured it was smooth process that fully met the needs of all parties involved."

Established in 1999 First Choice Group is the UK's leading one-stop-shop for catering and refrigeration spares. In May the company will relocate its operations to a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art building on Staffordshire's exclusive Kingswood Lakeside site.

Director John Whitehouse said the decision to sell the business was a difficult one but one which will benefit First Choice Group staff and customers.

"The acquisition of First Choice Group by Parts Town, a $300-million distribution company, takes us to the next level and will enhance the customer experience," he said.

"It was a pleasure to work alongside the Corporate Teams at Higgs & Sons and Crowe. They literally worked around the clock including weekends to get this deal away for us and the quality of the advice they provided and arranged to be provided to us was second to none."  

Andy Kay said: "I am absolutely thrilled to be able to conclude this complex transaction.  Under Parts Town's ownership, First Choice is well positioned to continue with its growth plans into the future."

Chicago based Parts Town was established in 1987 as a restaurant equipment parts distribution business designed to support local field service companies with the parts required to support their customers. It is now the dominant industry force, recognised by Inc. Magazine for six consecutive years as being one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in North America.

Chief Executive Officer at PT Holdings LLC, Steve Snower, said: "This partnership further strengthens PT Holding's market leadership in genuine OEM parts distribution. John, Carl and the whole First Choice team have built an extraordinary business. We respect and appreciate the integrity with which the business is run."

Higgs & Sons' Corporate team offers pragmatic and commercially focussed advice to a range of organisations from start-ups through to multi-million pound national companies.

For further information contact Susheel Gupta on 0345 111 5050 or susheel.gupta@higgsandsons.co.uk

First Choice

(l-r) Jamie Partington, Steve Robbins, John Whitehouse, Carl Bate, Andy Kay, Susheel Gupta

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