HMT of Christmas Past

As another memorable year for HMT draws to a close, we are reflecting on the past 28 years of successes and achievements. Over the next 2 weeks, we will share a series of three articles including our news from 2020 in our HMT of Christmas Present feature, and finally our plans for 2021 and beyond in HMT of Christmas Future.

1992 was the year of HMT’s inception when a pint of beer would set you back £1.45 and a gallon of petrol was £1.83. Those under the age of 28, of which there are many at HMT, may be surprised to learn that petrol was sold by the gallon although beer was not.

Whilst founding partner Andrew Thomson was busy launching HMT in 1992, current Partner Paul Read was still at 6th form in Southend-On-Sea, dividing his time at weekends between watching his beloved West Ham play at Upton Park and a part time job at Texas Homecare. Partner James Thomas was busy studying Economics and Accounting at Bristol University. Depressingly for the older contingent, many of the current team at HMT had not yet been born in 1992, whilst others were still finishing school or college.

Since launching in 1992, HMT has successfully completed over 500 transactions with an aggregate value of £5.1billion and is today one of the leading corporate finance boutiques in the south of England. Our first transaction was acting for a management team in their successful MBO of CD, a direct marketing business. CD would later be renamed Whistl, and Nick Wells, one of the original directors still leads the business today. HMT has continued to work closely with Nick over the years, latterly on the MBO of Whistl in 2015, one of the most significant transactions in the South of England that year which subsequently won Deal of the Year at the 2016 Thames Valley Deal Awards.

HMT has acted for numerous entrepreneurs on multiple transactions, and John Sudbury of Swindon Autos was also a client from the 1992 vintage. Andrew Thomson advised John on both acquisitions and disposals of various motor franchises over the years, culminating with the sale of his motor group to Cambria Automobiles plc. John remained a good friend of the firm and Andrew and the team at HMT were saddened at the passing of John earlier this year, and send our very best wishes to his family.

HMT has also worked closely with Sheila Donatantonio on several occasions throughout the years, including various acquisitions, the public to private MBO and finally the disposal of the food importing business just before Christmas in 2007. The transaction appeared on Page 3 of The Financial Times on Christmas Eve that year!

Other notable past deals for HMT include the MBO of Keith Prowse in 2002, the first corporate hospitality business in the UK inventing the concept of client entertaining, and the disposal of Netmums for creator Siobhan Freegard OBE in 2011.

HMT has worked with several charities in its 28 year history, and since 2014 is proud to have regularly supported local Henley-On-Thames charity The Chiltern Centre. Watch this space for our “HMT of Christmas Future” feature in 2 weeks’ time where you can read more about our planned January 2021 charity event to further support this wonderful centre, which provides much needed short-break and day care facilities for young people with disabilities.

Recognised regularly by the profession, HMT has won a total of 21 awards since 1992, including Independent Firm of the Year in 2015 at the British Accountancy Awards, four winning titles of Corporate Finance Advisor of The Year for Andrew Thomson at the Thames Valley Deal Awards, as well as being recognised 9 years in a row at this prestigious regional event.

HMT is proud to reflect on the last 28 years and we will share our summary of 2020 next week in our “HMT of Christmas Present” feature!


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