10 Deals of HMT – the disposal of Swift Worldwide
To celebrate its 25th anniversary of leading corporate finance deals, HMT is reminiscing on 10 notable transactions from our archives. Having completed over 500 deals, producing a shortlist of 10 has not been easy but advising on the disposal of Swift Worldwide Resources to US buyer Wellspring, is one of our biggest deals, and as such has certainly made the list.
The relationship with Swift dated back to 2006, when Partner Ian Barton advised private equity investor Gresham on their investment in Swift. By 2012 following a period of oil price fluctuations, a sale was planned but Swift’s management team needed support in the process whilst allowing them to continue running the business. Working with CFO James Dymott and Gresham Ian supported the team through the disposal and also on their re-investment alongside Wellspring in a secondary buy-out.
With Swift’s management team spread around the global but principally in Houston and Enfield, liaising across the time zones whilst continuing to be responsive was critical to ensuring a successful outcome. With a deal value in excess of £100m the disposal of Swift remains one of the biggest deals HMT has advised on in its 25 year history.
James notes that “we worked with Ian and HMT over the course of 12 months on this complicated deal, and his advice was excellent and always timely and well-constructed. Ian worked proactively with all our advisers and equity partners to deal with issues expeditiously, which helped us achieve the outcome we did.”
Swift established itself as one of the global leaders in its market and in 2016 merged with AirEnergi, to become a $1bn turnover global workforce solutions provider based in over 50 locations rebranded as AirSwift.
“Having worked with the Swift from its time as an owner-managed business through 2 private equity investments, its immensely satisfying to see the business a decade on from the first deal as a global leaders in its field”, says Ian. “This was a complex deal that involved a large number of advisers working effectively together across several jurisdictions and it was great to have the opportunity to help the management team move onto the next phase of its growth story.”