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Muckle supports Houghton International in major cross-border deal

6th Jun 2024 | Corporate Finance
Advisers from Muckle LLP, WilliamsAli, and UNW sitting around a table with Mitten Mitten, CEO of Houghton, in the centre

The leading role played by prominent Newcastle-based dealmakers in a significant cross-border private equity-backed acquisition has been revealed.

As announced recently, Houghton International has been acquired by US-based Integrated Power Services, backed by Searchlight Capital, in a deal which is being hailed as exciting news for the north east.

Houghton is a leading electromechanical services provider with a global reputation for excellence. The acquisition represents a strategic platform for the US market-leader’s expansion plans into the UK and European markets.  

Specialist local advice

It can now be revealed that the support and teamwork of specialist North East advisers was key to the successful transaction.

WilliamsAli Corporate Finance, the specialist Newcastle-based M&A boutique, acted as the lead adviser for the Houghton shareholders, with its team including co-founder Phil Williams, supported by Lucy Elliott and Tristan Woolcock.  

Legal advice was provided by Adam Rayner, partner, and Sophie Cragg, solicitor, both in our corporate team. David Ward at UNW provided tax advice.

Michael Mitten, CEO of Houghton, said: “After 40 years of family ownership, it was important to me for this transaction to be led by the very best advisers who would understand our values while bringing the technical expertise to handle the complexities of a cross-border, private equity transaction.  

"It helped that the North East region is fortunate to have world-class advisers here on our doorstep. We started working with WilliamsAli last year and the team has been outstanding throughout the process, while the legal and tax advice from Muckle and UNW was of the consistently high standard that I have come to expect over the years."

High-quality service

Michael Mitten, CEO of Houghton, said: "I was very impressed by the quality of service provided by Muckle on the sale of my business to an overseas buyer. They were extremely proactive, professional and responsive throughout. There were a lot of moving parts to this deal, and they dealt with every aspect quickly and seamlessly. I would not hesitate to recommend working with them.
"Adam led the transaction and he was available and on hand whenever we needed him.  Sophie supported on the transaction and demonstrated a mature and calm professionalism throughout."  

Phil Williams, co-founder of WilliamsAli Corporate Finance, said: “Houghton International has a highly skilled workforce and a fine tradition of developing young North-East apprentices.  

"It is great news for the region that IPS will continue to invest in growth and build on the strong foundations created by the Mitten family, who have contributed so much to the local economy and leave behind a proud and rich legacy.  

"WilliamsAli are delighted to have worked alongside our colleagues at Muckle and UNW to deliver a successful transaction for all involved.”

David Ward, Corporate Tax Partner at UNW commented: “We are delighted to have supported Michael and his team at Houghton International on the successful sale of the company.

As one of our long-standing clients, it has been a pleasure to help Michael fulfil his ambition and achieve an outcome that will enable the business to continue to grow and expand its offering to new customers and markets.”

Top-tier corporate team

Our corporate finance team has been consistently recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners as a top-ranking adviser. Find out more about the team's work.

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