26 04 2016

Proventus Capital Partners to acquire the business and assets of the Polestar Group, the UK's largest independent printing company and leading content delivery specialist

Ashurst advised Proventus Capital Partners and two new UK-registered companies owned by Proventus, Polestar Print Holdings Limited and Polestar UK Print Limited, on the pre-packaged acquisition of the business and assets of the Polestar Group, the UK's largest independent printing company and leading content delivery specialist.


The directors of a number of the Polestar Group entities appointed Toby Underwood, David Baxendale and Matthew Callaghan of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as administrators earlier that same day and the Group's business and assets were sold by the administrators on behalf of the Group. Polestar UK Print has bought a portfolio of assets from seven Polestar locations through four subsidiaries, covering Sheffield/Bicester/Chantry, Wheatons/Stones, Applied Solutions and its digital & publishing business respectively. The acquisition will ensure the continuity of service for customers and preserves around 2,000 jobs. Prior to its implementation, the transaction was assessed and positively approved by the Pre-Pack Pool, a newly established independent body of experienced business people who offer an opinion on the purchase of a business and/or its assets by connected parties where a pre-packaged sale is proposed. Proventus is the Polestar Group's former major shareholder and lender. In March 2015 Proventus invested £90 million in secured debt to refinance the Polestar business. The majority of this sum was used to retire existing debt, with only a minor amount being available as new money for the benefit of Polestar. After the underperformance of the business and the previous owners’ withdrawal, Proventus acquired Sun Capital’s shareholding in Polestar for £1 in December 2015 and in conjunction provided a £20 million line of credit. Ashurst advised Proventus Capital Partners on the transaction with a team led by restructuring partners Dan Hamilton (picture) and Giles Boothman, assisted by senior associates Drew Sainsbury, Amrit Khosa and associate Sarah Kimpton. Partner Eric Halvarsson and senior associate Camilla Holmkvist from Ashurst's Stockholm office led the finance side of the transaction, and partner Alexander Cox advised on the tax aspects. DLA Piper UK LLP, led by partner Richard Obank, acted for the administrators. The team included partners Huw Dolphin and Barney Smedley, senior associate Sally Williamson and associate Thomas Swain. Involved fees earner: Giles Boothman - Ashurst; Dan Hamilton - Ashurst; Drew Sainsbury - Ashurst; Amrit Khosa - Ashurst; Sarah Kimpton - Ashurst; Eric Halvarsson - Ashurst; Camilla Holmkvist - Ashurst; Alexander Cox - Ashurst; Richard Obank - DLA Piper; Huw Dolphin - DLA Piper; Barney Smedley - DLA Piper; Sally Williamson - DLA Piper; Thomas Swain - DLA Piper;

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