New Charity Partnerships for 2019/2020

We are delighted to announce Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice & Weston Park Cancer Charity as our charity partners for 2019 & 2020.

These are 2 amazing charities that we look forward to working with & supporting throughout our 2 year partnership.

To find out more about either of these charities, follow these links:

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice – https://www.bluebellwood.org/

Weston Park Cancer Charity – https://www.westonpark.org.uk/


Self Assessment – 3 weeks to go!

All hands are on deck for the fast approaching self assessment deadline. QuickBooks have brightened everybody’s day by delivering these lovely cupcakes.  Thank you QuickBooks!

quickbooks cupcakes


The Larger They Are, The Harder They Fall!

The compulsory liquidation of Carillion is a timely reminder that no company, however large and high profile, is immune from failure. Carillion was placed into liquidation on 15 January 2018 owing around £1.5 billion to its creditors and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The effect of any insolvency is that creditors suddenly have a bad debt to deal with and the larger the debt, the more likely that it will cause otherwise solvent companies to have their own cashflow problems.

This can lead to a domino effect where the failure of one company causes the failure of another, and so on down the supply chain. It has been estimated that up to 30,000 companies are owed money by Carillion, many of whom may be at risk of failing if they do not take action.

Over the years I have seen similar cases, where financially sound companies are suddenly put at risk following the failure of one of their customers. Not only do they suffer a large bad debt but they also lose a customer and future business they were relying on.

If your company finds itself in a similar situation it is essential to move quickly and take professional advice, ideally from a Licensed Insolvency Practitioner who has helped companies in similar situations before.

Immediate steps that can be taken to protect your company include restructuring the business to reflect the ongoing order book and negotiating payment plans with major creditors, such as HM Revenue & Customs. In more serious cases it may be necessary to propose a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors to ensure that the company is able to continue trading until its finances are restored.

Companies should also reflect on what they can do to protect themselves from future bad debts.  Assess the credit worthiness of your customers, set credit limits to reflect the commercial risk you are prepared to take and stick to them. Consider credit insurance as protection for a customer failing. Not only would a debt being insured be paid, you will have access to improved credit intelligence on your customers.

Whatever situation your business finds itself in — it’s never too early to seek advice.

Christopher Brown                                                                                                              Partner                                                                                                                                                    Hart Shaw Business Recovery & Insolvency




Exam Success!

Congratulations are in order for Tax Senior, Rebecca Neville, and Tax Manager, Luke James, both of whom have completed their studies and are now Chartered Tax Advisers.

We wish them continued success in their careers here at Hart Shaw!


Corporate Finance Outlook

As predicted, in last year’s article, the momentum of the deals from 2016 continued into 2017 with a total of 167 transactions within the year worth at least a £1billion, it must be taking into consideration that many deals values are not disclosed or the transactions themselves kept confidential so the true value and volume is considerably higher.

There were several very sizeable transactions including; the acquisition of Tata Steel’s Speciality Steels, which included the Stocksbridge steelworks, by Liberty House UK Ltd; the ever active DFS Furniture plc’s £58m divestment by Advent International of its holding in the listed company prior to DFS acquiring competitor Sofology for £25m; the sale of Carlton Main Brickworks to Michelmersh Brick for £31m and the Institutional buy-out of Sheffield fastener business Cooper & Turner, to USA private equity company Watermill.

Rights issues and development capital investments have been prominent with some sizeable placings including; ITM Power, the AIM listed fuel cell technology business raising £28m; telematics business the Floow raising capital of £13m from corporate sponsors; Xeros, the high tech polymer bead industrial washing machine manufacturer raising £25m; software group Wandisco raising £10m and Pressure Technologies raising £5m.  This demonstrates that the market for institutional funding continues to be buoyant and is allowing local technology companies to exploit opportunities for further growth.

At Hart Shaw we have recorded our best year since 2007, in terms of corporate finance fees, having been involved in transactions both within the SCR and further afield, including: the management buy-out of Birmingham based, Evac & Chair International, the world leading manufacturer and distributor of evacuation chairs, used to assist people of limited mobility to exit multi-storey buildings in emergencies.  The product was used during 9/11 terror attack at the World Trade Center in New York and was credited with the rescue of a number of people;  the sale of Nitec, a Chestefield based specialist electroless nickel coating business, sold to Cooper Brown Enterprises; the disposal of Sheffield headquartered Dialogue Group, to CLX Communications AB, Sweden for £32m plus surplus cash; and the sale of Optilead, the Doncaster based software specialist in online shopping cart recovery systems to Capita plc, having previously being involved in the MBO of the business.  We also acted for UK management on a £125m European private equity led transaction that completed just before Christmas, but details not yet disclosed.

The current pipeline of transactions is very encouraging for 2018 with a range of deals in sectors as diverse as: Portable Accommodation Manufacturing;  niche specialist project engineering for the international Oil & Gas Industry; aerospace engineering; warehousing systems; logistics; printing plus a number of consulting practices.  Interestingly, much of the pipeline involves sales mandates, probably suggesting that owner managers are looking to exit pre-BREXIT as the uncertainty brings with it potential risks.  However, in the meantime businesses appear to be generally busy and profitable. There continues to be lots of funding available for companies looking to grow from banks, private equity and mezzanine funders.

We are looking forward to the year ahead with optimism – all the best for the coming year.


2018 outlook



Exam Success!

Congratulations to Simon McDonagh & Mark Johnson on qualifying as Chartered Accountants!

Simon & Mark are Seniors within our Business Services Department undertaking accounts preparation and audit for Hart Shaw’s varied Client list.

They have worked hard whilst studying towards the qualification and it is very well deserved.

 We look forward to them enjoying a successful career here at Hart Shaw.



Welcome to Beth & Fern!

Hart Shaw are pleased to welcome Beth McNeal & Fern Hitchen, who are both with us on placement from Sheffield Hallam University.

They have joined the Business Services Department & will contribute to the accounts production for Hart Shaw’s expanding Client list.

Beth: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Hart Shaw so far and have settled in very well, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. It’s a great work environment to be a part of and I have learned so much already. “

They are a great addition to the team & have a couple of months to settle in before Business Services embark on their busiest time – Academy Season!


January 2019
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