Lawyers advise on nuts and bolts of ironmongery deal

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A team led by Southampton based corporate partner Stephen Archibald has advised Paris-based Manutan International, a leading player in the European multi-channel distribution market, on its purchase of IronmongeryDirect.

Based in Essex, IronmongeryDirect was founded in 1969 as a traditional ironmonger's business but has since grown to become the UK's largest specialist distributor of ironmongery for the trade, offering over 14,000 in-stock items ready for next day delivery throughout the UK.

Despite tough economic conditions in the construction industry, the business has grown over 20% each year in the last five years, achieving sales of £18 million in 2012 and an operating profit of 7.6%.

The Manutan group operates in 19 European countries and in 2011/2012, generated revenues of €571 million. The acquisition further reinforces Manutan’s position in the UK market where it already operates two successful brands: Key, its long-time subsidiary, and Rapid Racking, which was acquired in 2008.

The CEO of Manutan Xavier Guichard said: "We are really pleased to have worked with Blake Lapthorn to achieve a successful conclusion to this transaction and we welcome IronmongeryDirect to the Manutan family of companies. We see huge opportunities from this strategic purchase to further develop our business model."

The team also included tax partner Simon Court, employment partner Alex Bonner and pensions partner John Hamilton.