Commitment to CSR clinches deal for Remploy

By Anita Jaynes on 18 December, 2013

Top UK law firm Thrings has advised the owners of automotive and aerospace supply chain company Rempower Ltd in a deal that will secure the jobs of 217 people, 179 of whom have disabilities, across three sites in Coventry, Birmingham and Derby.

Rempower Ltd, which is owned by Arlington Industries Group, has purchased the Remploy Automotive business, part of the Remploy Group. Remploy is an initiative sponsored by the UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions to provide on-going sustainable supported employment  for people with disabilities, but Government funding for all Remploy factories is about to cease.

The sale means that Remploy Automotive will now become part of a stable of companies that supply both UK and global aerospace and automotive customers.

Thrings’ partner Kevin McGuinness, who led the multi-disciplinary team of lawyers that advised Arlington Industries, said Arlington Industries Group’s impressive track record in corporate social responsibility, as well as its profitability, made the group the preferred bidder for Remploy Automotive.

In turn, Thrings’ own proven commitment to added social value, as well as its strong commercial reputation, was a decisive factor for Arlington Industries Group in appointing Thrings to handle this multi-faceted and  challenging deal.

“Technically, this has been tremendously interesting as well as hugely demanding for my 12-strong team of lawyers who have been working on it,” said Kevin McGuinness.

“It has combined five separate transactions in one deal, and involved four different sets of lawyers acting for the various parties.  Since January 2013 we’ve been working with Arlington Industries Group on the share purchase, a separate asset purchase from a different seller, debt finance from a finance house, and equity purchase from a private equity fund. Furthermore, Remploy is Government-backed, which brings its own complexity to the transaction.

“But while the highest technical expertise was obviously a given in Arlington Industries Group’s brief to us,  it was also crucial to the group that their law firm genuinely walked the walk in terms of CSR and social impact. The fact that we could honestly demonstrate that, for example, we had maintained our Thrings charity fund throughout the recession, showed that Arlington Industries Group’s commitment to CSR permeated all its activity, including its own procurement. This was an absolute imperative for the sellers, in line the Government’s own aspirations for the reorganisation of supported employment.”

McGuinness added that working on the case had an additional advantage for all the lawyers involved from all sides. “Everyone took a refreshingly collaborative approach, rather than the traditional adversorial one,” he said.

“It was an intriguing proposition and all parties worked hard to secure the right conditions to grow a successful company that supplies components to key national and international players in the aerospace and automotive industries, while securing the jobs of the existing workforce of people with disabilities, and offering excellent employment opportunities to people in the future.”

Thrings has offices in Bristol, London, Bath, Swindon and Reading. To find out more visit: www.thrings.com