Air maintenance firm in MBO

ESSEX-based Heavylift Technical Services, which operates as HTS Worldwide, has been acquired by its management team in a deal project managed by corporate finance accountancy firm Watersheds.

ESSEX-based Heavylift Technical Services, which operates as HTS Worldwide, has been acquired by its management team in a deal project managed by corporate finance accountancy firm Watersheds.

HTS, which is based at Stansted airport, is an aircraft engineering service provider specialising in the placement of engineers and technicians to work for major airfreight and passenger operators worldwide. Typical work includes defect rectification, engine changes and routine maintenance servicing.

Watersheds structured the deal and secured funding from Royal Bank of Scotland in Chelmsford to allow managers Mike Boyce and Tommy Cregg to buy the business.

Mr Boyce is one of the original shareholders, having worked for the company from its inception in 1999, currently as managing director, and Mr Cregg joined in 2002 as finance director.


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Nadia Bonner, partner at Watersheds, said: “It is very rewarding to complete this transaction for our client. We had to overcome several obstacles and deal with a worsening situation in the credit market, but Mike and Tommy's experience, business model and strategic vision proved to be sufficiently sound even in this difficult economic climate.”

Watersheds secured the funding from RBS through a combination of a cash flow loan and invoice discounting facility. David Wisbey of Birkett Long and Tom Sleight of Prettys handled the legal work for the management team and the bank respectively, with Bird Luckin providing the legal advice and financial due diligence.

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Mr Boyce said: “This has been a protracted process over the past two years and there is no doubt that Watersheds together with RBS, Birkett Long, Prettys and Bird Luckin have pushed us over the line. We have a unique position within the sector of the market and look forward to building a strong and vibrant company.”

Mr Cregg added: “HTS are delighted to have chosen Watersheds as our corporate finance partners. They approached the deal with high levels of enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment.

“Mike and I believed so much in our company we wanted the best advisers in the mid-market to help us achieve our goals. That we completed the deal in this turbulent credit market is a testament to their creativity and tenacity.”

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