Cross-firm team from Ashfords advises UK company’s owners in marine technology sector deal

April 15, 2024

A multidisciplinary team of lawyers from Ashfords has worked on the sale of a long-running UK marine technology business to a major US-owned industrial group.

Ashfords, which has an office in Bristol, advised the shareholders of Devon-based Valeport on its takeover by a subsidiary of California-headquartered Teledyne Technologies Incorporated.

Valeport has specialised in designing and manufacturing underwater sensors for environmental, energy, construction and defence applications since its launch in 1969.

New owner Teledyne Marine is a collection of subsea technology companies that are part of the Teledyne group, whose products span digital imaging, and software, aerospace and defence electronics, and engineered systems.

Ashfords corporate partner Andy Young led the team that advised Valeport’s shareholders alongside corporate associate Liam Trevethan.

Providing specialist expertise for the deal were James Heath (real estate), Angus Bauer (tax), Michael Alden and Kirstin Cook (trust and estates), Su Apps (employment), Jonathan Hyde (banking and finance), Rebecca French and Freddie Forkuo (corporate), Brett Lambe (commercial and IP) and Hannah Pettit (data protection).

Former Valeport managing director and one of the selling shareholders, Matthew Quartley, said the firm’s owners had no hesitation in appointing Ashfords to act for then in the sale process.

“Never having been through this experience before, we could have been somewhat overwhelmed.

“But Andy and his colleagues provided us with calm, considered advice at every stage of the proceedings, and we ended up with a deal with which both sides are extremely happy,” he added.

“Our family is very proud of where we have brought Valeport so far, but the time is right for the next phase of its journey, and I am so pleased that this will be as a part of Teledyne Marine.

“The prospect of working with the rest of the Teledyne group to bring our customers an even greater range of superb, high-quality products is something that we are incredibly excited about, and will undoubtedly be to the benefit of Valeport, Teledyne, and most importantly, all of our customers.”

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

The marine sector is one of Ashfords’ specialist areas, with its experts recognised nationally for their work across ports, harbours and coastal developments, while its corporate team is committed to supporting businesses to deliver successful strategies and growth plans across a wide range of corporate transactions, fundraisings and investments.

Legal 500, the respected law sector directory, ranked the corporate team in Tier 1 in this year’s edition, with Andy Young listed as a ‘next generation partner.

Ashfords, which employs more than 500 people, also has offices in London, Exeter and Plymouth.

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