New joiners for Grant Thornton’s regional corporate finance advisory team after record year

November 11, 2021

National accountancy firm Grant Thornton has expanded its South West and Wales corporate finance advisory team after what it described as an exceptional period of deal activity.

Adam Hughes has joined the team from NatWest Structured Finance to lead its debt advisory function while two young dealmakers, James Smart and Thomas Bew, have also been recruited as lead advisory assistant managers. 

The team, which has led on many of the stand-out transactions in the South West and Wales this year, operates from Grant Thornton’s offices in Bristol and Cardiff and is led by partner Trefor Griffith and director Jamie Roberts.

Among the high-profile transactions that have contributed to its record year were:

  • Advising the shareholders of Bristol-based timber supplier Taylor Maxwell Group on the sale of the business for up to £63m to Brickability, the Bridgend-based leading specialist provider of building materials to housebuilders and contractors.
  • Advising the founders of Swansea-based fast-growth licensed apparel and accessories company, which secured a multi-million pound investment from BGF
  • Leading the sale, on behalf of food and catering group Sodexo, of South Wales-based Tillery Valley Foods, a key NHS supplier, to private equity-backed food manufacturer Joubere
  • Advising the founders of Cardiff-based specialist care group Crusader Medical Care in its successful exit to Envivo Group
  • Leading a key strategic fund-raise for Pontypool and Monmouth-based Freight Logistics Solutions with the Development Bank of Wales
  • Advising the shareholders of North Wales-based healthy snack firm Healthfull Holdings Group, pictured (trading as Wholebake) on its sale to Elysian Capital. 

Trefor Griffith said: “We have a team of over 100 people advising on mid-market merger and acquisition nationally with a focus on key sectors and regions with Wales and the South West being one of those.

“We are delighted to have been able to add to our successful and high performing regional team with the recruitment of Adam, James and Thomas.

“It’s important that we keep on investing in the best talent to continue providing the highest possible levels of service as our clients seek to explore and realise opportunities presented by the current M&A environment.

“While there are challenges in some parts of the economy, there is also a lot of liquidity with private equity investors and corporates looking for high quality assets in the consumer, technology, food & beverage, human capital and healthcare sectors in particular.”

Jamie Roberts added: “There are some outstanding businesses in our region as proven by their ability to adapt and thrive over the past 18 months.”

He said that despite some obvious challenges inherent in the wider economy, Grant Thornton’s M&A activity had continued to intensify with valuations buoyed by high levels of market liquidity and competition for quality assets of scale.

“Indications are that 2022 will see a continuation of the healthy level of deal flow with a number of factors potentially driving this even harder than was experienced over the course of 2021,” he said.

James Smart has joined Grant Thornton from accountants Saffery Champnesss Bristol office while Thomas Bew arrived from EY.

Pictured, Grant Thornton’s expanded corporate finance advisory team. Standing, from left: Lewis Dyer, Adam Hughes, James Smart, Trefor Griffith, Thomas Bew and Nick Jones. Seated: Anna Davies, Jamie Roberts, Andrew Charter, Tor Johnson


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