Winners 2019


Champions reveal their competence and confidence in changing challenging times


The ongoing strength, confidence and vibrancy of the Thames Valley’s dealmaking community was the subscript of the headline-making awards to worthy winners at this year’s high-profile Thames Valley Deals Awards (TVDA).

All 79 finalists could regard themselves as champions of their professions – the cream of the region’s corporate finance, business management, legal and banking services providers and advisers, explained Peter Laurie, head of client relations for The Business Magazine, as he welcomed 370 guests to the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre in Reading. Their professional competence and confidence was to the fore, within a mixed year of M&A activity. “There were some mega deals, and activity in the first nine months was at record levels, before taking a hit in the fourth quarter as corporate confidence began to be affected by Brexit and other global headwinds,” he explained.

“Many of the deals showcased by this evening create value not just for the shareholders involved but for the whole Thames Valley, enhancing the reputation of the region as a hotbed of talented innovators and fast-rising businesses. Once again, we have focused not just on the advisers but on the ambitious management teams, business founders, corporate boards and investors who make these deals happen.”

Following a survey by The Business Magazine carried out through all the firms in the region, the TVDA judging process was enhanced this year by the addition of five independent judges adding their varied experience and widely informed insight alongside the sponsors’ judges. “I chaired the judging panel this year and was struck by the fairness and diligence of all the judges. It was an excellent process and I would like to thank all 16 judges who took part,” stated Peter Laurie.

David Murray, The Business Magazine publisher commented: “Each year, quality deals are originated and completed by advisers based in the Thames Valley, and often the legal advice and funding is also locally sourced.”

Sponsors of the TVDA, the leading corporate finance event in the region’s calendar, were: – BDO, Coffin Mew, Crowe, Gateley plc, Grant Thornton, HMT, HSBC, IBB, NVM Private Equity, PwC, Shoosmiths, Quantuma and Quercus Corporate Finance

Mark Durden-Smith, the highly versatile and amusing journalist, radio and television presenter of news, sports and gameshows, was again the dealmakers’ favourite celebrity host for this gala awards dinner – now established as the leading corporate finance event in the region outside London.

The TVDA event also raised funds for its chosen charity – Brain Tumour Research – for which diners attending showed their generosity with donations totalling £3,553.80.

Congratulations to all the winners on the night and the finalists.
For the full list of winners, see below: 

Private Equity Firm of the Year sponsored by HMT LLP

Which PE houses have done the deals; either a specific deal or a raft of transactions? The PE firm can be Thames Valley or even London based, providing the deal was ‘on patch’.

Winner:         LDC



Other finalists

Connection Capital
NVM Private Equity
YFM Equity Partners

Non-Bank Lender of the Year sponsored by Quantuma

Who stands out for asset-based funding, or is there a crowdfunder who is helping to support deals in the region? Any non-bank funder is eligible in this category.

Winner:         Leumi ABL



Other finalists

Beechbrook Capital

Lawyer of the Year sponsored by BDO

Awarded to the top deals lawyer in the region – the go-to lawyer who stands out, for one specific deal, or for their entire portfolio through the year.

Winner:         Sanjeev Sharma – Shoosmiths


Other finalists

Andrew Peddie – Gateley Plc
Sara Valentine – Osborne Clarke
Rob Wood – Osborne Clarke
Adam Dowdney – IBB Solicitors
Jeremy Parkes – Field Seymour Parkes

Young Dealmaker (under 35) sponsored by IBB Solicitors

The up-and-coming dealmaker who is making their mark. This award can go to a corporate finance adviser, a banker, lawyer or a PE funder.

Winner:         Sarah Souter of Gateley plc


Other Finalists

Michael Mackintosh – BDO
Paul Tillstone – Grant Thornton
Gemma Legg – KPMG
Kiran Dhesi – Shoosmiths 
Max Whitehead – BDO

Due Diligence Team sponsored by Coffin Mew

The DD team which has done the best work in the qualifying year. 

Winner:         RSM


Other Finalists

Wilson Partners

Corporate Finance Team of the Year sponsored by HSBC

The top deals firm. Which firm has advised on the headline deals of the year? 

Winner:         Spectrum Corporate Finance


The Finalists

Grant Thornton
James Cowper Kreston

Law Firm of the Year sponsored by Grant Thornton

Awarded to the stand-out law firm for deals in the region. Which law firm has had the best year? 

Winner:         Osborne Clarke


Other finalists

Field Seymour Parkes
Gateley Plc
IBB Solicitors
BDB Pitmans

Corporate Finance Adviser of the Year sponsored by Gateley Plc

Awarded to the key dealmaker of the year. Based on a portfolio of deals or even one specific deal that took skill and perseverance to get across the line.

Winner:         Duncan Lamb – BDO


The Finalists

Andrew Thomson – HMT
Clive Hatchard – Spectrum Corporate Finance
Ian Barton – Quantuma
Sami Fairris – KPMG
Stewart Lambert – James Cowper Kreston

Bank of the Year sponsored by Crowe

Which bank is the go-to funder of deals? Has one bank shone through in 2018, doing deals where others fear to tread? 

Winner:         Santander


Other finalists


Management Team of the Year sponsored by PwC

This award is for the management team that has taken its company through an acquisition, management buyout or other transaction and has proved post-deal that it is now scaling new heights. 

Winner:         Wireless Logic

Other finalists 

Capital Economics
Martin Audio
Peter Brett Associates

Small Deal of the Year – under £10m sponsored by Shoosmiths

Winner:         HeleCloud – investment by BGF

Adviser: Wilson Partners

Legal: Osborne Clarke


Other finalists

Arden Group – acquisition by babble cloud holdings
The Royal Berkshire Shooting School – acquisition by James Purdey
Smyle Creative – investment by Rockpool and Chad Lion Cachet
Primal Pantry – investment by NVM Private Equity
Majenta PLM – acquisition by Cutting Edge Solutions backed by BGF

Mid-range Deal of the Year – £10m to £50m sponsored by NVM Private Equity

Winner:         Miles 33 – MBO backed by Ethos Partners

Advisers: Quantuma, First Capital

Debt: Santander

Legal: Osborne Clarke, Gateley plc, Burgess Salmon

DD: RSM, Plural Strategy Group


Other finalists

Martin Audio – MBO backed by LDC
Shuttercraft – MBO backed by Beechbrook Capital
Mode Print Solutions – MBO backed by Connection Capital
GTK – acquisition by Volex plc
UAP – secondary buyout backed by Maven
Peter Brett Associates – acquisition by Stantec
The Appointment Group – acquisition by Apiary Capital

Large Deal of the Year – over £50m sponsored by Quercus Corporate Finance

The major transaction of the year.

Winner:         ByBox – exit by LDC, investment by Francisco Partners

Legal: Osborne Clarke, Shoosmiths, Mayer Brown

DD: Alvarez & Marsal


Other finalists

Capital Economics – secondary buyout
MWR InfoSecurity – sale to F-Secure Corporation
SDL – acquisition of Donnelly Language Solutions
Wireless Logic – acquisition by Montagu

TV-Deals-Background SPONSORS Quantuma-green Quercus_Logo_CMYK_Strapforweb ThinCats-logo-high-res shoosmiths-logo-black-green HSBC_MASTERBRAND_UK_CMYK Crowe-Logo-PMS130+282-for-Microsoft-Office BDO-logo Gateley-Legal_grey_CMYK