Houlihan Lokey acquires McQueen

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Houlihan Lokey has announced that it has agreed to acquire McQueen Limited (McQueen), a London-based independent advisory firm that provides corporate finance and other strategic advisory services to clients in the consumer sector. The agreement was signed on July 20 and is expected to close following regulatory approvals.

Established in 2002, McQueen is a leading specialist corporate finance advisor to the European consumer sector. Core areas of focus include food, beverage, agribusiness, leisure and gaming, and retail and consumer brands. Since its founding, the firm has had an advisory role in more than 100 transactions worth more than €10 billion and has worked with some of the largest and best-known companies in the sector, including Heinz, Thai Union, V. Mane Fils, Morrisons, ABF, Paddy Power and Unibet. The firm is based in London and serves clients worldwide.

The McQueen team will be integrated into Houlihan Lokey’s Consumer, Food & Retail (CFR) Group and be based in the firm’s London offices. Following the acquisition, the CFR Group will comprise 45 professionals across London, New York, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco. In 2014, Houlihan Lokey’s CFR Group ranked #1 for closed transactions in both the United States and North America, according to Thomson Reuters.

'The McQueen team is an excellent addition to our industry-leading North American Consumer, Food & Retail Group and allows Houlihan Lokey to offer the same deep sector expertise to clients outside North America, particularly across Europe', said Jay Novak, Global Head of the Consumer, Food & Retail Group. 'This combination also enhances our ability to deliver seamless cross-continent execution and expert advice to clients around the world as we continue to build on the success we have achieved in the sector', he added.

'We believe that joining Houlihan Lokey will significantly enhance and expand our capabilities', said Shaun Browne, Partner at McQueen. 'We anticipate that this move will strengthen our global reach and execution expertise, broaden our private equity relationships and provide us with access to their well-established and highly regarded Financial Restructuring and Financial Advisory Services businesses. We expect this to benefit our clients around the world and we are delighted to be joining such a successful and admired firm', he continued.

'This acquisition brings several highly valuable elements to our CFR Group, including a dominant presence in Europe and expertise in new verticals within the consumer sector. In addition, the excellent cultural fit between the two teams will ensure a successful, rapid integration which ultimately benefits clients of both firms. We’re delighted that the McQueen team is coming on board', said Steve Winningham, Head of Corporate Finance, Europe at Houlihan Lokey.

Houlihan Lokey and McQueen acted as their own advisors on the transaction. Pinsent Masons LLP served as legal counsel to Houlihan Lokey and Travers Smith was legal counsel to McQueen.

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