A Success Story Guided by Birkett Long and Scrutton Bland

Birkett Long and Scrutton Bland have together advised the shareholders of electronics manufacturer DVR Ltd on the sale of their business to NOTE, one of northern Europe’s leading contract manufacturers.

DVR Ltd was started in 1985 as a small, family-run business by the Hellings family, who designed and developed a heat transfer press to imprint lettering onto fabric. This design is still widely used all over the world today. Based in Basildon, the company has grown steadily to become a leading electronics manufacturing service (EMS) and contract electronics manufacturer (CEM) provider. It is now run by David Hellings, who will continue as CEO. A large proportion of their clients are located in the industrial and Greentech sectors, which corresponds to the sector specialisms of Note, a listed company in Sweden with a strong presence across Europe and China.

When it came to marketing the business for sale, DVR turned to Scrutton Bland, whose Corporate Finance Team have extensive experience in this area of corporate transactions. James Thurkettle, Corporate Finance Manager, worked to prepare DVR for sale and put it on the market, but the first deal fell through in late 2022 due to rising interest rates. Discussions with a new buyer resumed in May 2023, and an offer was accepted.

Birkett Long was asked to provide legal advice, and the two firms worked at speed to complete the sale in a record two-month turnaround.

Tracey Dickens, Partner and Head of the Commercial Department at Birkett Long said: “It was a pleasure to work alongside Scrutton Bland advising on this sale and to assist the shareholders. It is a testament to how well the business is run that we were able to complete the due diligence in a timely manner to assist with meeting the tight timescale. It was great to have the support of Scrutton Bland on the tax and accounting aspects of the transaction, ensuring robust negotiation of the associated documentation.”

James Thurkettle at Scrutton Bland commented: “DVR Ltd’s new ownership structure reflects an ethos that will safeguard their future within one of the leading EMS providers worldwide, and within an organisation who are known for delivering high end manufacture through long-term relationships and partnerships. The deal will provide security for DVR’s employees, as well as giving their clients a continued assurance of high-quality service. We look forward to supporting David and the DVR team as they move forwards into their next chapter.”

David Hellings, CEO at DVR Ltd, spoke about the implications of the sale for the future of the business his family founded almost forty years ago: “I have come to appreciate NOTE as a company that shares DVR’s core values of long-term customer relationships and high quality in what we do. We have many customers and exciting portfolios, and there are great advantages for both us and our customers to become part of a larger group as we continue to develop our business together.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the teams at Scrutton Bland and Birkett Long for all their hard work and expert advice that has allowed us to reach this point. We are particularly grateful for their efforts to work at speed to ensure the deal progressed to a successful conclusion before the deadline. We very much look forward to the next chapter and thank all our staff, clients and suppliers for their ongoing support.”