Walker Morris advises YPO on proposed acquisition of Findel Education

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19/12/2019

Multi-disciplinary team demonstrates education and retail expertise in £50 million deal

Walker Morris has advised Wakefield Council as lead authority for public sector buying organisation, YPO, on its proposed acquisition of Findel Education from Studio Retail Group.

Established in 1974, YPO is the largest local authority purchasing consortium in the UK comprising 13 founder member authorities. Owned by the online retailer Studio Retail Group and based in Hyde, Findel Education is a supplier of resources and equipment to schools in the UK and overseas. Completion of the acquisition is conditional on, amongst other matters, Studio Retail Group’s shareholder approval and obtaining clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

The Directors of Studio Retail Group believe the additional scale benefits provided by YPO will allow Findel Education to continue offering great service to schools and nurseries. Additionally, YPO stands to gain greater resilience and scale from the acquisition and benefit from investment in digital marketing technologies and direct sourcing developed by Findel Education over the last two years.

Commenting on the acquisition, managing director of YPO, Simon Hill, said:

“Bringing together these two organisations will enable YPO to continue to grow its core activity of providing value for money and excellent service to its education and public sector customers. This is an excellent example of local authorities acting in a collaborative and commercial manner to provide benefits to local communities across the whole of the country.”

A multi-disciplinary team of specialist lawyers from Walker Morris advised YPO.  The team was led by Corporate Partner John Hamer, who was supported by Senior Associate Edward Ainscoe, and included David Kilduff (who has worked with Wakefield Council on a number of major assignments) and Victoria Bradley from the Firm’s Energy, Infrastructure & Government Group. Commenting on the deal, John Hamer added:

“Through this acquisition, YPO can offer Findel Education its public sector expertise, allowing both businesses to thrive and grow whilst continuing to offer excellent service to schools and nurseries.  We are delighted to be advising on the deal whilst also building on our history with YPO and Wakefield Council.”

David Kilduff added:

“We are delighted to build on our longstanding relationship with Wakefield Council and YPO by supporting this significant commercial transaction.  Entering into this deal is testament both to the commitment of the founder member authorities, as well as the calibre of the YPO and Council team, and the collaborative and team working ethos adopted.”

Find out more about YPO here.

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