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Finding Begbies: Great Big Barracuda Eats CVR

Posted on Jan 18, 2021. by NTI

In the opening scene of Pixar's Finding Nemo, a giant barracuda attacks the home of Nemo's dad, Marlin, and ends up eating Nemo's mum and all of his future brothers and sisters. It's heartbreaking, tragic and a reminder of why Marlin is so protective over his only son, Nemo.

There is so much synergy between this and the news today that great big fish Begbies Traynor has consumed CVR in what is the largest insolvency acquisition the group has undertaken to date. Begbies have a stated strategy to target value-accretive acquisitions and this great big gulp is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing, not least with CVR's global reach and their presence in London and the South-East.

There has to be something of a portent in the fact that in Toy Story 4, due to hit the big screens that haven't become a Boohoo distribution centre at Easter this year, there is a scene showing a stuffed and mounted barracuda, revealing to Disney saddos the final resting place of that big, hungry fish.

The purchase price of CVR Global was £20.8 million on a cash free and debt free basis, and for that Begbies are getting 90 partners and employees and nice premises in Furnival Street in London, as well as disparate addresses at polar opposites on the map as wide as Colchester and the British Virgin Isles ... and an espresso machine. Begbies say there will be a “significant overlap” of operating locations, which will enable the group to combine local operating teams in single offices and “derive operating synergies”, which are expected to be worth at least £0.75 million per annum when fully realised.

We in the NTI newsroom don't exactly know what 'operating synergies' are, but they look like a snip at £0.75 million per year ... which they must be if Begbies are paying 20.8 million for them. Certainly Ric Traynor seemed very chuffed with himself when he said: “We welcome the team into the group and look forward to working with them,” but he sent a little chill down the spine when he further commented: “The group continues to consider further acquisition opportunities and organic investments in both of its divisions, in line with our stated strategy.

When asked if he fancied himself being stuffed and placed in a glass box and put on show for all to see in Toy Story 4, Ric said:

"What on Earth are you talking about?"

Maybe a little defensive for a man who has just found another reason to visit the ravishingly beautiful British Virgin Islands; an archipelago of more than 60 islands, scattered like emeralds between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic. He can always pop into the Culver Square shopping centre in Colchester to buy some swimmers before he sets off.

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