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Cavendish Corporate Finance, the UK’s top sell-side mid-market M&A firm, has advised on the sale of Sterling, Europe’s largest independent moving and relocation business, to UniGroup, a $1.7 billion US-based global leader in transportation and relocation services.

UniGroup and Sterling represent one of the largest global networks of relocation and moving services, with 27 regional offices and more than 1,000 local service providers in more than 180 countries on six continents.

James Ellis, Associate Director at Cavendish

James Ellis, Associate Director at Cavendish

Sterling, founded in London over 20 years ago, offers a broad array of relocation services to some of the world’s leading companies including major investment banks and professional services firms, among others. The company’s offices are located in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Asia and the USA.

Headquartered in St Louis, in the US, UniGroup has provided global relocation services for over 60 years and continues to expand, particularly in Asia, where it has moving and storage facilities in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The acquisition of Sterling will provide UniGroup with a full range of relocation consulting, assignment management, immigration, destination and supply chain management services to better meet its clients’ needs, while UniGroup provides Sterling with resources to expand its capabilities and service offerings.

Former owners Rupert Morley and Jeremy Beglin will continue to serve as Sterling’s President and Vice President of Sales and Business Development respectively, for UniGroup global relocation services.

Cavendish, which advised Sterling, has so far completed seven deals in 2014. Its previous Business Services deals include: TCL Holdings, Helios and First City Care among others.

James Ellis, Associate Director at Cavendish, who led the transaction, commented:

“The transaction is an excellent strategic fit for both companies.  The combined capabilities of both Sterling and UniGroup will provide blue chip clients and individual assignees with the depth of service offering and international reach to meet their range of needs across the globe.  This is yet another example of Cavendish managing a highly successfully sales process to an overseas strategic buyer and we have seen an accelerating trend over the first half of this year of foreign buyers looking to acquire growing UK businesses.”

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