Muckle help ethical firms merge
LAWYERS at Newcastle-based Muckle have advised successful Gateshead business Ethicalsuperstore.com on a merger that is expected to help double its turnover to £6m by 2010.
Ethical Superstore, established by Vic Morgan and Andy Redfern in 2003, is based at Team Valley in Gateshead and has become one of the largest online specialist ethical stores in the UK.
Since it opened, the business has increased its turnover by at least 50% year on year and is continuing this growth by joining forces with Green Dot Guides, trading as Natural Collection, which was set up in Bath in 1999 to provide fair trade, organic and eco friendly products.
To support its development, Ethical Superstore also received an investment of over £400,000, led by NorthStar Equity Investors (NSEI), which also included investments from Rathbone Greenbank and a syndicate of business angels.
Muckle provided legal advice on the investment. Nicola Loose, an associate within the corporate finance team at Muckle, said: “Our team is committed to supporting businesses during periods of growth and has worked closely with Ethical Superstore throughout its evolution from a small business start-up six years ago.
“We provided specialist legal advice to Ethical Superstore throughout the merger and investment, specifically regarding how the firm could work as a combined business with Natural Collection while still trading separately and meeting the requirements of its investors.
“This merger brings together two complementary companies in an exciting sector and we look forward to working with the management team at Ethical Superstore as the business continues to develop in the future.”
Tim Morgan, finance director at Ethical Superstore said: “Muckle provided excellent support throughout what was a complicated combined transaction and was tenacious in helping us to drive the deal to a good and timely conclusion.”
“The merger provides the combined business with the ideal opportunity to demonstrate real growth in the ethical and fair trade markets.”