Macfarlanes advises majority shareholders of Walker Books on sale to Trustbridge Global Media

13 May 2020

Macfarlanes has advised the trustees of the Walker Books Employee Trust (being Clare Jeffries of Goodman Derrick and Leonard Goodrich of Lewis Silkin) and the trustees of the Walker Books Limited Employee Share Ownership Plan 2001 (being Sara Cohen of Lewis Silkin and Simon Catt of Goodman Derrick), who together held a majority of the shares in Walker Books Limited, on its sale to global children’s content company Trustbridge Global Media.

Walker Books is a 40-year-old independent publisher of children’s books.  Headquartered in London, it also has operation in the US, where it operates as Candlewick Press, and Australia. 

The Macfarlanes team for this matter was led by corporate and M&A partner Justin Hope with assistance from solicitors Olivia Wild and Henry Cooksey. Litigation advice came from partner Jonathan Arr, senior solicitor Emma Cohen and solicitor Alexandra Thorne. Tax advice was provided by partners Jeremy Moncrieff and Rob Collard, senior solicitor Saba Palizi and solicitor Eugene Atkinson.

The transaction builds on Macfarlanes’ extensive experience of advising trustees of employee benefit trusts on the sale of majority stakes in companies, with Macfarlanes also having advised the trustee of an employee benefit trust on the disposal of its majority holding in Portsmouth Water to Ancala Partners in 2018. 

Leonard Goodrich (on behalf of all of the Trustees) commented: “We selected Macfarlanes because of their past experience in this area. The team provided us with first class advice and support along the route of this complex, multi-faceted transaction which had to be handled commercially and sensitively given the unusual circumstances.”

Justin Hope comments: “We were delighted to help complete this complex transaction which we hope will secure the future of this much-cherished company. Macfarlanes is uniquely placed to advise trustees in these circumstances, with exceptional experience across our corporate, tax, litigation and private client practices of the difficult legal issues that trustees face in when disposing of significant assets in this way.”