Sterling Relocation Limited / UniGroup Inc
Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s top sell-side mid-market M&A firm, has advised on the sale of Sterling, Europe’s largest independent moving and relocation business, to UniGroup, a $1.7 billion US-based global leader in transportation and relocation services.
UniGroup and Sterling represent one of the largest global networks of relocation and moving services, with 27 regional offices and more than 1,000 local service providers in more than 180 countries on six continents.
Sterling, founded in London over 20 years ago, offers a broad array of relocation services to some of the world’s leading companies including major investment banks and professional services firms, among others. The company’s offices are located in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Asia and the USA.
Headquartered in St Louis, in the US, UniGroup has provided global relocation services for over 60 years and continues to expand, particularly in Asia, where it has moving and storage facilities in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The acquisition of Sterling will provide UniGroup with a full range of relocation consulting, assignment management, immigration, destination and supply chain management services to better meet its clients’ needs, while UniGroup provides Sterling with resources to expand its capabilities and service offerings.
Former owners Rupert Morley and Jeremy Beglin will continue to serve as Sterling’s President and Vice President of Sales and Business Development respectively, for UniGroup global relocation services.
Cavendish, which advised Sterling, has so far completed nine deals in 2014. Its previous Business Services deals include: TCL Holdings, Helios and First City Care among others.
James Ellis, Associate Director at Cavendish, who led the transaction, commented:
“The transaction is an excellent strategic fit for both companies. The combined capabilities of both Sterling and UniGroup will provide blue chip clients and individual assignees with the depth of service offering and international reach to meet their range of needs across the globe. This is yet another example of Cavendish managing a highly successfully sales process to an overseas strategic buyer and we have seen an accelerating trend over the first half of this year of foreign buyers looking to acquire growing UK businesses.”
Rupert Morley, CEO of Sterling Relocation, commented:
“Cavendish handled the transaction with elegance and efficiency. They were proactive, everything kept to time and we completed as planned, less than six weeks after agreeing the heads of terms.
“This deal represents a fantastic opportunity for our investors to support an established and well managed business with an excellent reputation in the facilities management sector. We are delighted with the debt financing package arranged by finnCap, which was a critical element to the completion of the transaction. We were extremely pleased with how the process was managed by the finnCap Debt Advisory Team, which provided us with optionality to select the most appropriate banking partner for CMS.”
I would thoroughly recommend Andrew and Rebecca and the Cavendish team to anyone looking to maximise the proceeds from a disposal or asset sale. The Cavendish team are both consummate professionals, focused on delivery and pragmatic and flexible in their approach to helping their clients achieve their objectives. I would not hesitate to recommend them and would hope to work with them on future projects. They provide great value.
I was delighted with the service that Cavendish offered and their real attention to detail. The deal was not without its complexities and it was reassuring to have Paul and his team assisting me throughout the negotiations.
Cavendish handled the transaction with elegance and efficiency. They were proactive, everything kept to time and we completed as planned, less than six weeks after agreeing the heads of terms.
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Cavendish team. Caroline, Andrew and Eimear offered us unstinting support and valuable advice throughout the transaction. They were instrumental in helping us achieve this result.
The team at Cavendish demonstrated their international reach and their tenacity to stick with the deal until it closed. They found the ideal owner… We are very excited at the new opportunities that we can now develop.
Cavendish Corporate Finance has been integral to the establishment of the New College of the Humanities, providing both valuable advice and managing a successful fundraising process that has enabled us to have a stellar founding shareholding group that provides not just capital but also experienced investors who will help NCH succeed and flourish.
Cavendish brought to the table extensive contacts in the venture capital industry and an understanding of how to present our investment case in the best light. All our business had been lacking was funding to achieve scale and with the capital secured from Balderton we are now empowered to bring about lasting change in the insurance industry and create significant value for all our shareholders along the way. We are delighted with the deal and with the invaluable help that Cavendish provided in obtaining it.
Thank you so much for the hard work you put into our sale. “We are delighted with the result both personally and for the company. We now have some work to do in maximising the benefits of the deal to both parties. Your support during the deal was excellent and helped us go through a process that was completely new to us. It seemed to go very smoothly and I know that much of that was due to your background work with Egis’s advisors. We also felt well supported on the detail of the final stages. “Many thanks once again to you both. It was a great time and a perfect outcome.
Cavendish played a crucial role both in achieving a good result for shareholders and in enabling Hawk-Eye to go to the buyer offering the most compelling strategic fit
Recent Deals for Business Services Sector
Cambridge Maintenance Services
Universe Group Plc
RJD Partners and Management
Altodigital Networks Limited
Xerox (UK) Limited
Private Business Investors
Inspired Education Group
Mirabel International School