MC Vanguard Advises Two of Cheshire’s Longest Established Animal Feed Producers in Merger

Malpas-based Waterhouse Feeds is joining forces with Nantwich firm HJ Lea Oakes to enable both businesses to enhance product ranges and improve technical resources. MC Vanguard, the corporate finance arm of North West based accountants Mitchell Charlesworth, advised Waterhouse Feeds. Vanguard's work was led by Robin Gower and Brian McCann.

MC Vanguard Corporate Finance John Spofforth from corporate law firm O'Connors LLP also acted for the owners of Waterhouse Feeds.

Both Waterhouse Feeds and HJ Lea Oakes will continue trading under their existing names supplying the North West, North Wales and Midlands agricultural communities with a broad range of animal feeds and nutritional products.

HJ Lea Oakes Managing Director Arthur Preston, who was advised by International law firm DLA Piper on the transaction, said the move will combine experience and knowledge as well as products and facilities to provide customers with greater value.

"This is a terrific development which marks the coming together of two very well established family businesses," he said. "We are joining forces to continue to provide farmers in our trading area with exceptional products and service, and to build on the reputations of our respective companies which have been built up over the years."

Waterhouse Feeds Directors Andrew and Jonathan Waterhouse said both firms have a similar outlook and ethos based around delivering first class customer service and high quality, cost effective feeds.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to expand our business to the benefit of our customers," said Mr Waterhouse. "This will enable us to offer a wider product range and enhanced technical resources. Naturally, we look forward to continuing to our personal service."

Mitchell Charlesworth partner Brian McCann, who leads MC Vanguard Corporate Finance, said:

"We are delighted to be supporting two of the region's longstanding family farming firms in their future growth plans. This move will help to unite these outstanding businesses which have a track record of excellence in the animal feed sector. This is further evidence of the vital role MC Vanguard can play in helping businesses plan for the future. We provide support in a broad range of areas, including business sales, exit and succession planning, MBOs and MBIs, mergers and acquisitions and raising finance. We remain focused on using our talent, skills, contacts and experience to help clients grow the value of their business."

Corporate Partner at DLA Piper Jonathan Watkins said: "We are delighted that DLA Piper has been able to work with HJ Lea Oakes on this successful transaction. This move will enable two long established producers to grow their market share and presence in this sector.  DLA Piper has unparalleled experience in M&A's and this deal demonstrates our ability to handle transactions of this nature within the region."

For more information about MC Vanguard (the Corporate Finance arm of Mitchell Charlesworth), visit the website: Alternatively, contact Partner, Brian McCann on tel: 0151 255 2300 or email:

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