THE sale of a North East company to a national chain has been successfully completed, thanks to the involvement of a Sunderland-based solicitors and accountants.

The former Accident Repair Centre, which has sites in Sunderland, Newcastle and Darlington, employs 100 staff across the three sites, with a turnover of around £10m.

Following the sale it has now become part of Steer Automotive, one of the UK’s leading automotive repair groups with more than 50 sites nationwide.

The sale – which was for an undisclosed amount - was conducted by Richard Reed Solicitors, supported by Sunderland-based accountancy firm, TTR Barnes.

The deal, which has taken around six months to complete, has seen the shares in the trading company sold to Steer Automotive while owners Roger Collings and Robert Taylor retain the holding company.

Phil Moir, director at Richard Reed and who specialises in company and commercial work, said the sale was a significant one and has added to what has become a “record year from transactional work.”

“We were delighted to be able to keep this transaction in Sunderland with both Richard Reed and TTR Barnes working together to make everything go through as smoothly as possible,” he said.

“It also illustrates the level of expertise that we have in the city and that companies do not need to go further afield for this kind of service.”

Roger Collings said it was the company’s previous experience with Richard Reed Solicitors, plus wanting to find the expertise and knowledge they needed for the sale in Sunderland which made the decision for them.

“Richard Reed have previously advised the business on other legal matters that had been conducted promptly and efficiently, “he said.

 “The sale of the business was complicated by the fact there were three trading companies and one group holding company. In addition, leases needed to be arranged for the four properties which were being retained by the Group holding company.”

Mr Collings praised the work of both Sunderland companies, recommending them “not only for the sale of the business but for other supporting services.”

“The due diligence process took several months but with the support of TTR Barnes and Richard Reed it was completed with relatively few challenges,” he said.