Project Description

HMT LLP advised Blue HK Investments and their portfolio company Palace Contemporary Fine Arts Limited on the acquisition of leading UK art publisher Buckingham Fine Art Publishers Limited.

Founded in 1982, Buckingham distributes original artwork and high-quality limited-edition prints to galleries and collectors globally. Recognised as one of the UK’s leading fine art publishers, the company represents some of the country’s most talented artists including Amy Louise, Andrei Protsouk, Ben Jeffery, Chris DeRubeis, Dale Bowen, Edward Waite, Emily Crook, Jean Picton, Kimberley Harris, Leanne Christie and Leigh Lambert.

Buckingham’s long-standing excellent reputation was built in no small part by the company’s founder and Chairman Ray Loud. Palace’s investment enables Ray to step down and take a richly deserved retirement.

Blue HK’s co investors in Palace are art industry veteran Jonathan Kearns who assumes the role of CEO of Buckingham, David Fitzgerald (COO) and Simon Halliday (CFO). Having been involved in the growth of leading names including Halcyon Gallery, Washington Green and for over a decade as Managing Director of DeMontfort Fine Art, Jonathan brings unrivalled experience to Buckingham. The other investors will also strengthen and broaden the management team, adding particular skills in operations, finance, and strategy.

HMT led by Paul Read and Corin Briault-Hutter undertook financial due diligence for Blue HK and Palace on this transaction.

Trevor Bayley, Managing Partner of Blue HK and Chairman of Palace/Buckingham commented:

“I have worked closely with HMT on a series of transactions over the past decade and the firm has always provided a consistently high level of support and advice. Their huge experience of advising on SME businesses across different sectors enables them to identify the key issues for their clients and provide refreshingly commercial advice. We thank Paul and Corin for their support on this exciting investment.”

Simon Halliday, CFO of Palace commented:

“HMT provided commercially focussed insight into Buckingham’s trading results, and a clear summary of their systems and control environment.  Key issues were clearly signposted, helping us confirm the drivers of performance that underpin valuation, as well as flagging matters for the SPA and for our post-completion action plan. Corin, Paul and the team were very responsive, professional, and a pleasure to deal with throughout the process.”

Paul Read commented:

“We were delighted to have advised Blue HK and Palace on their acquisition of Buckingham. With Blue HK’s financial support combined with Buckingham’s and Palace’s deep industry knowledge and established reputation, the business is on the right tracks to reach their ambitious growth plans in a post-COVID world.”