Essex law firm acts for international cold storage business on £65.7m acquisition

Essex law firm acts for international cold storage business on £65.7m acquisition

Birkett Long acted for Nichirei Holding Holland B.V. (NHH) on a £65.7m deal announced to the stock exchange on 30 September and completed on 29 October 2021.

NHH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nichirei Logistics Group Inc. acquired all the issued shares of Norish (N. I.) Limited, parent of Norish Limited, from Norish plc (AIM:NSH).

Norish Limited currently operates from six strategically located sites in England and provides in excess of 47,500 racked temperature-controlled pallet spaces. It provides supply chain solutions for companies on a local, regional and national basis by way of storage including bonded storage, handling, freezing, de-vanning, picking and cross-docking.

Nichirei Logistics Group, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has the world’s sixth-largest refrigerated storage capacity and has been developing its cold storage logistics business in Europe since entering the Netherlands in 1988. In the UK it owns international logistics service provider Thermotraffic UK Limited, a Birkett Long client since 2014, and is also developing related value-added services (such as thawing and freezing services) in inland areas with an investment in Kevin Hancock Limited in 2020. This acquisition will enable Nichirei Logistics Group to make a full-scale entry into the refrigerated warehousing business in the UK and, at the same time, further expand business by creating group synergies.

David Wisbey, Partner in the firm’s Commercial and Corporate Finance team who led on the matter, said: “The deal has been very much an international one, with NHH operating from Rotterdam; Nichirei Logistics Group based in Tokyo; an Irish seller, listed on the London Stock Exchange but employing solicitors and financial advisers in Dublin; and a target company incorporated in Northern Ireland.

It was a real team effort at the firm, with Charlotte Holman (BLHR & Employment), Tej Thakkar (Regulatory) and Daniel Clarke (Commercial Real Estate) all making important contributions.”

Rob Haesakkers, Managing Director of Thermotraffic and new CEO of Norish said: “It was an extremely challenging process with a very tight timeframe as we only started negotiations with Norish in July. For us, it was clear that for the legal advice on this project, we wanted to again use the services of Birkett Long. They know our company and business from previous projects. The entire legal part of the deal was again handled extremely well by them.”

Birkett Long is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2021. As the year passes, we intend to carry out as many Random Acts of Kindness as we can in our community. It’s not just about knowing the law, it’s about the impact we have on our communities. Birkett Long has offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon. It provides a wide range of legal and independent financial services for business including corporate and commercial advice, regulatory law, dispute resolution, education, insolvency, intellectual property and employment and for individuals: wills and conveyancing, family law, independent financial advice and dispute resolution.