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Licensing advice for investment firms

How our licensing solicitors helped one of the most successful mid-market investment firms in the US capture part of the UK market

Men talking in a pub
Investment advice: Licensing solicitor Jonathan Smith advises investment firms on licensing issues for international transactions.

Licensing touches a wide array of sectors. From the obvious examples such as restaurants bars, nightclubs and retail, to festivals, one-off pop-up events and delivery services.

In such examples, our licensing solicitors usually advise the owners / directors or senior management teams at the brands.

However, we also work directly with other professionals involved in the leisure sector. And this means we often advise the investment firms and capital management businesses which sit behind the brands.

Below is an example of how alcohol licensing solicitor, Jonathan Smith, advised New York headquartered Stellex Capital Management.

The licensing legal problem

Stellex Capital Management is one of the most successful mid-market investment firms in the US.

To strengthen its leisure portfolio in the UK, Stellex planned a multi-million pound acquisition of the Chapman Group consisting of 28 pubs, bars and hotel in the south of England.

The legal value we added:

For the acquisition to complete, Jonathan had to advise Stellex Capital Management and it’s financiers that all the of the premises licences and other licences, covering wedding and gaming – were fit for purpose now and for their future plans.

A team of solicitors and paralegals, led by Partner Jonathan Smith, read all licences to ensure they matched Stellex’s plans and that they did not contain any unusual licensing hours or conditions.

The second part of the due-diligence was to speak with the police, licensing and environmental health authorities for each of the 28 premises.

This was to ensure none of the pubs, hotels or bars had anything ongoing with regards their licences and that there were no enforcement proceedings.

This due-diligence is a vital part of the acquisition as problems with licences can devalue businesses – and in worse-case scenarios – result in the acquisition aborting. Due to the size and experience of the team all due diligence was completed seamlessly and the acquisition completed on time and without any issues.

Media coverage can be read here.

For further information on how our licensing solicitors work with investment firms and large scale projects, contact licensing Partner Jonathan Smith

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