Bird & Bird Advises on Acquisition of Brookes & Gatehouse

27 October 2003

Bird & Bird has been advising new client Kongsberg Maritime Limited, on their acquisition of marine instrumentation subsidiary Brookes & Gatehouse from AIM listed Yeoman Group plc for a total cash consideration of £2.7m.

Brookes & Gatehouse is a leading supplier of navigation and information systems for the yacht industry and has an international reputation for guiding winners in all major yachting events. Ellen MacArthur was also assisted by Brookes & Gatehouse in her round-the-world voyage in 2001.

The acquisition of Brookes & Gatehouse will allow Norwegian based Kongsberg, which is a subsidiary of leading Norwegian technology company Kongsberg Gruppen AS, to add a highly respected brand and group of products to its existing product range. It will also allow it to achieve new sales and distribution synergies worldwide. Yeoman in turn will be able to concentrate on its core telematics business.

Commenting on behalf of Kongsberg, Jan Berner, the CEO of the yachting division said:

“This is an important deal for Kongsberg as it adds a highly skilled development team and a range of market leading products to our Simrad product offer. We were also very pleased with the support we received from our advisors who helped us achieve a highly satisfactory result in a very short space of time.”

Bird & Bird acted on all aspects relating to the acquisition. The team was led by corporate partner Jeff McGeachie who introduced Kongsberg to the firm. Martin Wygas assisted while Ruth Chapman (property), Peter Ward (IP), Emma Gilbert (employment) and Simon Briton (tax) were also involved.

Commenting on behalf of Bird & Bird, Jeff McGeachie added:

“This is a transaction which typifies the Bird & Bird approach: the acquisition of market leading technology by a European multi-national, all achieved with the help of a corporate team with the right skills and pan-European focus to get it done quickly and with minimum fuss”.

For more information, please contact Larry Cattle, Director of Marketing, on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.