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Leading South West law firm, Stephens Scown LLP and Thomas Westcott, one of the largest independent accountancy practices in the South West, have recently completed a major deal comprising the share sale of a local fulfilment business to growing delivery management specialist Whistl.

Founded in 1999, the Devon-based Clientbase Fulfilment and Contact Centre specialises in offering services such as pick and pack, 140-seat contact centre capability, warehousing, returns handling and delivery. Customers include home shopping companies, such as Madeleine, Peter Hahn, Scotts of Stow and Sophie Conran.

The share sale by Clientbase Fulfilment Limited’s three majority shareholders and founding partners – Angus Dick, Robert Smeddle and David Fanous – and two smaller shareholders, was successfully negotiated by the Corporate Finance team at Thomas Westcott headed up by Alison Watts Corporate Finance Director and a team of lawyers at Stephens Scown, led by Helen Wallwork, partner. Ian Pring of Thomas Westcott advised on the tax aspects of the transaction. 

Alison Watts of Thomas Westcott – “Clientbase Fulfilment have been a long standing and valued client of our Plymouth office since 2002 and we have enjoyed working with David, Angus and Rob through the expansion of the company.  I was delighted to be able to advise and assist on the ultimate sale of business, securing an exit for the shareholders.  I look forward to following Clientbase’s continued development as part of the Whistl group”.

Robert Smeddle, speaking on behalf of the three major shareholders of Clientbase Fulfilment Limited, commented: “This successful sale has delivered a profound and transformational change to our lives and we could not have been in better hands than Alison Watts of Thomas Westcott and Helen Wallwork of Stephens Scown with their quite exceptional levels of service and professionalism”. 

David Fanous added: "Through joining forces with Whistl we will strengthen their already well-established fulfilment arm and in turn, we will now be part of the UK’s leading delivery management company, and be able to draw upon their expertise and infrastructure."

Clientbase’s founder and managing director, David Fanous, will remain with the company, while sales and marketing director Rob Smeddle will become a consultant and financial director Angus Dick will retire. The company’s entire workforce of 250 employees have all been kept on as part of the acquisition, which was completed in late November, and will continue to be located at the firm’s two sites in Devon, continuing to trade under the Clientbase brand.

Stephens Scown has over 300 staff, including more than 50 partners, across its offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell. For more information visit www.stephens-scown.co.uk