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18 November, 2021 - 21:29 By Tony Quested

Essex lawyers act for global cold storage firm on £65.7m deal

Essex law firm Birkett Long acted for Nichirei Holding Holland B.V. (NHH) on a £65.7 million deal to acquire all the issued shares of Norish (N. I.) Limited from AIM-quoted Norish plc.

Norish Limited currently operates from six strategically located sites in England – including Bury St Edmunds and Braintree in our footprint – and provides more than 47,500 racked temperature-controlled pallet spaces. 

The business provides supply chain solutions for companies on a local, regional and national basis by way of storage including bonded storage, handling, freezing, de-vanning, picking and cross-docking.

Nichirei Logistics Group, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, has the world's sixth-largest refrigerated storage capacity and has been developing its cold storage logistics business in Europe since entering the Netherlands in 1988. 

In the UK it owns international logistics service provider Thermotraffic UK Limited, a Birkett Long client since 2014, and is also developing related value-added services (such as thawing and freezing services) in inland areas following an investment in Kevin Hancock Limited. 

This latest acquisition will enable Nichirei Logistics Group to make a full-scale entry into the refrigerated warehousing business in the UK and, at the same time, further expand business by creating group synergies.

David Wisbey, partner in Birkett Long’s Commercial and Corporate Finance team who led on the matter, said: “The deal has been very much an international one, with NHH operating from Rotterdam; Nichirei Logistics Group based in Tokyo; an Irish seller, listed on the London Stock Exchange but employing solicitors and financial advisers in Dublin; and a target company incorporated in Northern Ireland.

“It was a real team effort at the firm, with Charlotte Holman (BLHR & Employment), Tej Thakkar (Regulatory) and Daniel Clarke (Commercial Real Estate) all making important contributions.”

Rob Haesakkers, managing director of Thermotraffic and new CEO of Norish added: “It was an extremely challenging process with a very tight timeframe as we only started negotiations with Norish in July. 

For us, it was clear that for the legal advice on this project, we wanted to again use the services of Birkett Long. They know our company and business from previous projects. The entire legal part of the deal was again handled extremely well.

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