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Corporate team advise BATA on acquisition

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One of Yorkshire and the North East’s largest animal feed producers has been acquired in a major deal which has created a £110m turnover business.

William Thompson (York), Murton, founded as a family-run grocers shop almost 90 years ago and acquired by its five-strong management team in 2007, has been bought by agricultural supplies business B.A.T.A., Malton, for an undisclosed sum.

The William Thompson MBO team is remaining with the enlarged business.

The acquisition by B.A.T.A, Malton, which also has country stores and provides a range of agricultural fuels, is considered to be among the biggest corporate deals in North Yorkshire this year, creating a group with an annual turnover of more than £110m.

William Thompson (York) managing director, Andrew Richardson, says: "The sale of our business to B.A.T.A. is good news for both companies, our current and future customers and, importantly, for the Yorkshire agriculture sector. The strength and depth of the group will provide even more specialist help and service to our customers businesses helping them navigate through the global challenges that face the agricultural sector."

A multi-discipline team at North Yorkshire accountants and business advisers JWPCreers, together with commercial lawyer, Philip Lewis Ogden, from Harrowells Solicitors, York, advised the management team at William Thompson (York) on the company’s sale to B.A.T.A.

JWPCreers corporate finance partner, Tony Farmer, said: "We have advised William Thompson (York) since the MBO as company auditors and through our agricultural department led by partner, Stephen Headley. They understood the advice given and the importance of good business practice and preparation. Given the complexity of this deal and the timescales worked to we feel we have played a major role in what has been a significant corporate transaction."

William Thompson (York), which provides a wide range of dairy, pig, beef, sheep, game and fish feed compounds to farmers throughout Yorkshire and the North East, was founded as grocery shop in Goodramgate, York, by William Thompson 88 years ago.

Hamish Morrison of BHP Corporate Finance advised BATA and legal advice to BATA was provided by Jonathan Simms and Paul King of Clarion.