Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Law Firm in Merger Talks; 5 Things We Learned Yesterday

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North Law Firm in Merger Talks; 5 Things We Learned Yesterday

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAEME WHITFIELD Business editor graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk

1 Newcastle law firm Ward Hadaway is in merger discussions with Liverpool heavyweight Weightmans in a move that would see it become a top 40 UK firm by turnover.

If the talks are successful the merger would create a firm with revenues of PS130.9m and a headcount of around 1,850. The deal would see Ward Hadaway become the largest Newcastle-based firm, surpassing Bond Dickinson, which has revenues of PS104m.

Ward Hadaway is the smaller of the two firms, having brought in PS35.8m during the last financial year. Weightmans is nearly three times the size, bringing in PS95.1m during 2015/16.

In a joint statement the two firms said: "The legal market is changing and it is always sensible to look at opportunities that might benefit a business, its clients and its staff so Weightmans and Ward Hadaway are currently talking to each other to see if there are benefits of working closer together."

North East leisure company Parkdean Resorts has unveiled 2 plans to plough PS50m into its portfolio of holiday parks, a month after it was sold to new owners in a PS1bn deal.

The Newcastle-based business - formed in November 2015 following the merger of Parkdean Holidays and Park Resorts - is investing in its accommodation, retail and leisure facilities in time for the 2017 season.

The company now runs 73 holiday parks nationwide, having bought Vauxhall Holiday Park near Great Yarmouth for an undisclosed sum last year in its first acquisition since the merger.

Changes will soon be made at the Sandy Bay resort near Ashington, Northumberland, where a PS1.4m makeover will unfold to result in more accommodation for holidaymakers and prospective owners, a refurbished restaurant, a new bar and an indoor play area.

3 Retailer Wilko is preparing to open a large store at the Silverlink retail park in a move that will create more than 60 jobs. …

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