Vistra to acquire UK’s Nortons Group

Vistra Group, the corporate services, trust, fiduciary and fund administration services provider now based in Hong Kong, is to acquire the Reading, England-based business expansion services provider Nortons Group, the two companies announced today.

Vistra said the deal, which will see Nortons  top executives Andrew Norton and Pete Doyle moving over to Vistra’s management team, will “boost [Vistra’s] existing range of services”, while enabling Nortons to “benefit from Vistra’s global reach”.

The cost of the acquisition and other terms weren’t disclosed. The deal is expected to complete by the end of February, the companies said in their announcement.

Vistra, which dates back to a 2006 buy-in of the fiduciary and trust business of Chiltern in London and Jersey by the former top management team of Fortis Intertrust, was acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia last year. Baring Asia subsequently acquired another global fund administration and corporate services firm, Orangefield Group, and is in the process of merging the two businesses. Once the Nortons deal completes, Vistra Group will employ more than 2,200 staff in 39 countries, Vistra said.

Nortons was founded in 1993 as a firm of chartered accountants by Norton and Doyle, and today specialises in providing  fast-growing companies with a complete range of accounting, tax, human resources and payroll services. According to the company, a significant proportion of its business involves supporting US-headquartered technology and life sciences businesses as they set up overseas.

Nortons currently employs around 80 people, who work out of the company’s offices in Reading as well as in Redwood City, California. It also maintains an affiliation with NIS Global, a network of independent accounting and advisory firms that are active in key countries, such as India, in which Nortons doesn’t have its own physical presence.

Vistra Group chief executive Martin Crawford, (pictured), said that offering support services to companies moving abroad, already a core business for Vistra, was of “growing importance”, and that for this reason, Nortons’ expertise, experienced staff, and its network would add “significant value” to the company.

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