Kingston Smith
September 2017

Top 20 UK chartered accountancy and business advisory firm Kingston Smith assisted tech start-up company appScatter with its AIM listing earlier this month.

appScatter is a scalable business-to-business software-as-a-service platform. It allows its paying users to distribute and manage their apps on multiple app stores as well as tracking performance and compliance.

Kingston Smith’s corporate finance and technology accountants worked closely with the visionary tech company and its nominated adviser, brokers and lawyers throughout the listing process. The firm advised appScatter on compliance, specific regulatory requirements, tax and corporate finance.

On 5 September appScatter raised £9m to secure its admission onto AIM.

Philip Marcella, Founder & CEO of appScatter said: “As with any such process, we faced various challenges but I was pleased with how the Kingston Smith team dealt with them – always available to explain what was required and why, but also able to work with us in resolving them.”

appScatter is set to roll out its platform in Q4 2017 and plans to establish a presence in China in 2018.
January 2017

Kingston Smith Corporate Finance advised the shareholders of Freightex Ltd, the Dover headquartered provider of logistics and freight brokerage services in the UK and Europe, on the sale of their business to UPS. UPS is among the largest multi-modal transportation companies in the world with extensive global airlines, trucking and package delivery networks.

Shippers of all sizes and industries today rely on Freightex for the efficient movement and visibility of goods across the UK and Europe. The company has eight locations across the UK and Europe and matches customers’ outgoing freight shipments with available trucking capacity across its network of carriers. Freightex will operate under UPS’s Coyote business unit through the Supply Chain and Freight segment and its customers will gain the benefits of scale, reach and access to a broad integrated portfolio of shipping solutions for all their supply chain management needs.

The acquisition immediately establishes UPS’s presence in the growing UK and European third-party logistics (3PL) over-the-road brokerage transportation market and launches a new global and regional UPS growth platform from an established base of customers and carriers.

Bradley Stanton, Chairman of Freightex, comments: “The Board of Freightex Ltd retained John Cowie at Kingston Smith to review and advise us on a number of potential corporate options that had emerged over a six month period. This advisory process ultimately led to the sale of the company to UPS. We felt very confident with John’s guidance from initial contact right through to completion of sale. He and his colleagues demonstrated a high degree of experience and breadth of expertise, complemented by strong attention to detail – all of which was invaluable to us.”

John Cowie, the partner at Kingston Smith who led the corporate finance team, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the Freightex team on this transaction. Everyone worked hard to meet an ambitious timetable – it was a true team effort.”
October 2016

Kingston Smith is pleased to have provided financial due diligence services to Mobeus Equity Partners in connection with its £2.2m growth capital investment in BookingTek. BookingTek is a provider of direct-booking software to major hotel groups. The funding will be used to expand the BookingTek team, broaden its international presence and facilitate the development of future products.

Greg Blin, Investment Manager at Mobeus comments, “The Kingston Smith team brought a strong mix of technical capability and commercialism, quickly identifying and dealing with the key financial issues which helped Mobeus in our assessment of the deal. We are grateful to their professionalism and support throughout the process and we look forward to working with the team on future transactions.”

London-based BookingTek, which was founded in 2011, provides software that enables hotels to reduce their reliance on third-party booking systems through an enterprise-grade, real-time booking platform for meeting rooms and restaurant reservations. The platform incorporates PCI payment processing that enables hotels to make their products viewable, bookable and payable all on their own website.

BookingTek’s products meet a key strategic focus of hotel groups at present which is to encourage guests to book directly rather than through third parties. BookingTek’s existing clients include two of the world’s top 10 hotel groups and the UK’s largest hotel group. BookingTek’s Meetings Maker product is the only software product that integrates with Oracle MICROS’ Opera Web Services for Sales & Catering, the leading hotel property management (PMS) software world-wide.
October 2016

Devonshire Corporate Finance Ltd (DCFL) advised the shareholders of Hammer Consolidated Holdings Ltd, a leading specialist distributor of server and storage solutions, on the sale of their business to DCC Technology, which trades as Exertis.

DCC Technology has agreed to acquire Hammer Consolidated Holdings Ltd, which in its financial year ended 31 January 2016, earned an operating profit of £6.3 million on revenue of £155.0 million. The transaction is conditional on competition clearance from the European Commission and is expected to complete by the end of the year. The consideration will be paid entirely in cash and is structured as an initial payment at completion, followed by earn-out payments over three years based on Hammer’s future trading results.

Based in Hampshire and employing 165 staff, Hammer distributes server and storage products for a broad range of leading suppliers including Dell, Intel, NetApp, Seagate and Western Digital. Hammer’s business is considered to be complementary to Exertis’ existing server and storage business, and will strengthen its supplier portfolio with the addition of almost 1,000 reseller customers.

Managing Director of Hammer Consolidated Holdings, James Ward comments: “Marc has worked with us 11 years, when he and the team supported our management buy-out. He has supported us in this process by offering advice and assistance every step of the way. Because of our longstanding relationship they really understood our ambitions and delivered them. We are delighted with the result and have no issues in recommending Marc and his team to others.”

Marc Fecher, Head of Devonshire Corporate Finance says, “I am delighted that I have been able to support the shareholders in achieving their objectives by leading on the sale process, including complex negotiations. Having forged a close relationship with James and his team 11 years ago when we assisted them to originally buy the business we were able to support their next step – successfully selling the business to a strategic buyer. Exertis have made an excellent acquisition of a strong business.”