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1 March, 2016 - 20:38 By Kate Sweeney

Birketts advises NIAB in ‘top of the crops’ acquisition

James Allen

Law firm Birketts has advised pioneering plant science organisation, the NIAB Group, on its acquisition of the charity East Malling Research (EMR), a major horticultural research group.

The combined group will strengthen the UK’s crop science infrastructure and capabilities, with the pooling of complementary research expertise and a shared commitment to support crop production in the UK and internationally. Additionally, the transaction allows the two charities to maximise the synergies between the two charitable organisations which have compatible objectives.

Birketts advised on all legal matters with James Allen (pictured) leading the multi-disciplinary team. Assistance on the deal was provided on a range of legal services, including corporate (Quentin Golder and Selina Chan), property (Isabel Wightman and Julia Harlock), employment (Abigail Trencher and Tim Tyndall) and charity (Erika Clarke).

David Neill, chief operating officer at NIAB said: “The guidance and support that we received throughout the acquisition was of the calibre that you would expect from a firm of Birketts’ reputation who displayed considerable sector knowledge.”

James Allen, corporate partner at Birketts, added: “This was an interesting acquisition given the charitable purpose and demanded significant project management skills by our multi-discipline team.

“As well as the usual elements within a corporate transaction, it required a number of regulatory and internal approvals within a challenging timetable.

“The combined organisation, employing more than 300 staff and with a turnover in excess of £22 million, will provide long-term stability, scale and capacity for investment in crop science.”

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