Well-established London law firm Joelson has strengthened its international M&A standing after assisting a long-standing US client with its latest acquisition.

Sheldon Cordell
Sheldon Cordell

The firm’s highly ranked commercial and corporate team recently helped US-based NASDAQ-listed Matthews International Corporation with its acquisition of UK business Equator Ltd – a design agency that specialises in high profile solutions for grocery retailers and fast moving consumer goods companies.

Joelson handled the acquisition, including the legal due diligence aspects of and drafting legal documentation for the £33 million deal, along with other legal matters for Matthews’ subsidiary SGK Brand Solutions, involving intellectual property, property and employment issues.

Equator reported sales of £21 million in 2016 and its operations will tie in well with Matthews International’s other recent acquisitions, which include VGC, a leading graphics, platemaking and creative design company and Guidance Automation Limited – both of which were completed with the help of Joelson’s experienced team.

Speaking after the completion of the acquisition, Joelson’s Chairman Sheldon Cordell said: “We were delighted to have once again assisted Matthews International Corporation with this latest acquisition of Equator Ltd, which further strengthens their position in the UK.


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“We were involved in a number of complex aspects of the deal, but the outcome has been successful for all and all parties are quite satisfied with how the deal went. This is just another clear indication that the UK M&A market is very much open for business.”

He added that Joelson had a long history of working with businesses in the food, drink and fast moving consumer goods sectors, assisting brands such as Innocent Drinks and Urban Fresh Foods (BEAR Nibbles).

Brian Walters, Matthews International’s Vice-President and General Counsel, based at the company’s headquarters in the U.S., commended Joelson’s role in the past three acquisitions. He said: “The M&A team at Joelson has proven to be a key partner for our company as we expand our presence in the UK market.

“The counsellors at Joelson are technical experts in M&A deal structuring, but also bring a practicality that is refreshing and helps build immediate trust amongst Matthews International’s commercial leadership team. As a company, we’re exceedingly grateful for Joelson’s expert counsel and cost-effective support.”

During the transaction Joelson worked with Matthews International’s other legal teams in the US (Cohen &Grigsby) and Ireland (Eugene F. Collins).