Tuesday 1 March 2011

Higgs helps give Van Leeuwen pipeline to Aberdeen

A leading Midlands corporate law team has advised on the acquisition of a specialist pipe supplier by a tube and pipe distributor based in the West Midlands.

Higgs & Sons advised Van Leeuwen Wheeler on its acquisition of the Aberdeen assets of Mardale Pipes, a specialist supplier of duplex and super duplex stainless steel to the oil and gas industry. Mardale Pipes was purchased from its administrators for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition sees Van Leeuwen Wheeler gain a 9,000sq ft warehouse at Dyce, together with stocks and machinery. The company is relocating its Dundee sales team to the new Aberdeen location and will be retaining members of the Mardale team.

Part of the Netherlands-based Van Leeuwen Pipe and Group, Van Leeuwen Wheeler has major stockholding hubs in Middlesbrough in the North East and Brierley Hill in the West Midlands with access to over 100,000 tonnes of tube in group stocks. With a growing presence in the offshore sector, the company supports operations in many of the major oil and gas fields around the world, both from its UK and European stocks and via mill direct supply.

David Ellis, a partner and head of insolvency at Higgs, led the team advising Van Leeuwen Wheeler. He said: "It was an interesting transaction that had to be completed in a very short time scale.

"We received initial instructions on Friday and had to liaise with Scottish solicitors dealing with the property aspects of the transaction in a different legal jurisdiction while negotiating the purchase with the administrators with a view to completing both the lease assignment and the purchase within a week.”

Van Leeuwen’s managing director, Jeff Blakey, is delighted with the outcome: “We have long recognised the importance of having an active presence in Aberdeen and this development gives us a stockholding capability at the heart of the oil and gas industry. With the acquisition of this strategic location, we are uniquely positioned to offer a large portfolio of materials backed up by the necessary technical expertise.

“David and his team were quick to respond and helped us complete this deal in record time.”

Higgs & Sons is an award-winning law firm employing 180 people. The firm is headquartered at Brierley Hill’s Waterfront Business Park and also has offices in Kingswinford.

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