The sale follows a strategy review at Sweett to reduce debt, grow profits and rebalance the risk profile of the group. The net proceeds of the sale will be used to reduce group net debt which will be brought down to £4.0m.
Currie & Brown is acquiring businesses that operate in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The deal excludes Sweett' Sri Lanka business.
In Sweett’s accounts for the year ended 31 March 2015, the businesses being sold reported turnover of £30m and an operating profit before amortisation of acquired intangibles, goodwill impairment losses and exceptional administrative expenses of £1.2m.
Following completion of the sale, Sweett has operations in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and in the USA and Canada. The retained businesses had turnover of approximately £58.0m last year and reported an operating profit before amortisation of acquired intangibles, goodwill impairment losses and exceptional administrative expenses of approximately £4.7m. As at 30 September 2015, the order book is approximately £54.1m.
Kim Berry, managing director of Sweett APAC, has stepped down from the board. Also out as a result of the restructuring is Europe managing director Derek Pitcher, who joined the company in 1978, was made partner at 30 and has been on the board for 15 years.
Sweett also issued a trading update, reporting that the UK business had seen first half revenue growth of 5% and with improving margins.