Global law firm Reed Smith advised Graphite Capital and Micheldever Group Ltd. (MTS) on the acquisition of MTS by Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. (SRI), Japan’s sixth largest tyre manufacturer. The sale was made for £215 million, 3.7 times the original investment made by Graphite in 2006.
MTS is the second largest distributor of car, 4x4 and motorcycle tyres in the UK. Graphite Capital is a leading independent private equity house focused on UK mid-market investments.
The team was led out of London by private equity partner Laura Brunnen and senior counsel Martin Bowen, who recently joined the firm’s London office from King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) alongside a corporate team of 3 partners and 8 associates. Reed Smith’s corporate and financial services teams worked together to transition the client matter and harness the firm’s cross-practice expertise to complete the acquisition.
The deal comes soon after another high-profile closing by Reed Smith in the private equity space. In January 2017, a cross-office team secured CBPE Capital’s acquisition of SafeChem Europe, a leading pan-European provider of services and products related to the safe and sustainable use of solvents for surface and dry cleaning. The transaction required in-depth experience across the firm’s key industry groups, and involved aspects of English, German, U.S., French and Chinese law.
Martin Bowen, senior counsel at Reed Smith, commented:
“I am delighted that Laura Brunnen and I were entrusted by my long-term client Graphite Capital to handle this important transaction with our new colleagues in Reed Smith’s private equity team. It is always satisfying to handle a buyout, work alongside a great management team and then execute an exit through the whole lifecycle of a deal."
Markus Golser, senior partner at Graphite Capital, commented:
“Graphite Capital would like to thank all our advisers and the Micheldever management team for their exceptional contributions which enabled us successfully to close the sale to SRI. The Reed Smith private equity team, led by Laura Brunnen who transitioned the sale process seamlessly from her former firm in the face of some adversity, delivered the deal spot on budget and on time."
The wider team at Reed Smith included: partner Nick Williams, associate Victoria Gillam and trainee Tom Firth-Jones from financial services, and associate Nikki Delaney and trainee Dan Mulligan from corporate.
SRI was advised by Simmons & Simmons.