Advance has been acquired by The Jensten Group (Jensten), a specialist broking and insurance group looking to expand its specialist capability as part of their buy and build growth strategy. Jensten was formed in 2018 following an MBO of the Coversure Group which was originally established in the UK in 1986. The MBO was supported by mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge LLP.
Advance, which has offices in Chippenham, Swindon, Westbury, and Trowbridge, presently handles £16m gross written premium and has 82 staff. Advance will provide expertise in sourcing specialist motor product solutions for niche customers, working with price comparison websites and online and offline lead generation, and form a centre of excellence for specialist personal lines within the Jensten group.
The VWV Corporate team acted for sellers Samantha Woods, Advance's retiring director, and Clive Woods, who becomes a consultant, with all aspects of the deal. They also worked alongside Mander Duffill as accountants and tax advisers to Sam and Clive.
The team was led by Corporate Partner Nathan Guest who has spent more than 20 years advising corporate clients on mergers and acquisitions, management buy outs and private equity and venture capital investments. Nathan was supported by Sonya May (Corporate) and a deal team of specialist lawyers from across the firm, including Jessica Booz (Commercial Property), Jacob Scott (Commercial), Vicki Bowles (Data Protection), Mark Stevens (Employment) and Emma Bradley (Tax).
Nathan Guest commented:
"I could not be more pleased for Clive and Sam, who have worked tirelessly over more than 20 years to build a fantastic business. Selling your business is challenging on many levels and although they had no prior experience of a corporate transaction on this scale, they threw themselves into the process with a level of diligence that gave everyone confidence. They were an absolute delight to work with. There were plenty of late evening virtual meetings, but these were as entertaining as they were instructive! We look forward to continuing to work with them both in the future".
Sam and Clive Woods commented:
"Nathan and Sonya, we want to thank you both for making the sale of our business so easy for Sam and myself. It was a long seven months and we can’t tell you how much we appreciate the late nights and weekends you committed to making it all happen…
Your obvious knowledge instilled confidence in us both, and we felt completely comfortable in fully trusting in your expertise. You absolutely had our backs throughout the whole process and were willing to go the extra mile where you felt it necessary.
As part of the wider sales process, all the people we had experiences with in VWV were as professional as you were and just as committed to getting required tasks completed on time. We are so pleased VWV were recommended to us and we will have no hesitation in using and recommending VWV in the future. Thank you!"
VWV is a multi-award winning, full service commercial law firm with offices in Bristol, London, Watford and Birmingham. VWV employ around 470 people, including 88 partners and over 220 other lawyers. The Corporate Team has 10 partners and 17 other specialist corporate, finance and tax lawyers and an established reputation as a leading adviser to emerging companies, family owned and owner-managed SMEs, global corporates, Universities and public sector organisations.