Thrings wraps up sale of leading online gift retailer

By Anita Jaynes on 30 June, 2017

Regional law firm Thrings has completed the sale of leading mail order and online gift business Qwerkity to a private equity-backed discount bookseller.

Thrings’ growing corporate team in Swindon advised the private owners of the Banbury-based business which has been acquired by specialist online retailer The Book People.

Qwerkity was founded in 1989 by Jane Hudson as a mail order business and sells a wide range of quality gifts. It reported revenues of £9.1m for the year to January 2017 and distributes eight million catalogues annually.

The acquisition will enable The Book People – which was bought in a management buyout in 2014 with backing from private equity firm Endless – to expand into the gift market. The firm reported revenues of £79m in the year to December 2016.

Thrings’ corporate team, led by partners John Davies and Simon Hore, and assisted by commercial solicitor Louisa Smith, advised Qwerkity on all legal aspects of the deal. This included negotiating the share, sale and purchase agreement and carrying out due diligence work.

Rebecca Strong, a solicitor in the commercial property team at Thrings, also advised on the property aspects of the sale.

Simon Hore said: “Qwerkity has grown to become one of the foremost mail order gift companies in the UK. So we’re very pleased to have helped the owners, Jane and Norman Hudson, secure the sale of their business which they have worked so hard to build over many years.

“This involved working to tight deadlines to complete this complex deal which will enable The Book People to build onQwerkity’s strong brand as it moves into new markets.”

Jane Hudson said:  “Our objective when choosing Lawyers to represent us was to ensure we had a firm who would fully protect our interests.  We felt supported and confident in the Thrings Team throughout this complex and, at times, difficult deal.”

Adrian Dray and Neil Giles of Quercus advised on the corporate finance aspects of the transaction.

Pictured above: Thrings partners John Davies and Simon Hore.