We work with high net worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors to provide equity funding. They all have differing interests in sector, size and business profile.
When we see an opportunity we will assess it against their known interests and discuss the opportunity with the appropriate funding partner. We won't proceed beyond an initial assessment of an opportunity unless one of our funding partners has confirmed to us that they are interested in making an investment. We see plenty of opportunities and don't have the time to waste on pursuing things we don't believe we can deliver on.
+ Do your equity funding partners always take a majority stake?
That doesn't mean that we don't wish to see management and fellow shareholders making a substantial return. Where appropriate we may be prepared to agree a ratchet structure where other investors take a greater share over a pre agreed level of return.
+ How long before you are looking for an exit from an investment?
This will very much depend on the investment and the business plan we agree with management and our fellow shareholders from the outset. Typically we will seek an exit within a 5 year period but there will be occasions when our involvement can be for a much shorter period.
We will have an open and frank conversation with both management and other shareholders prior to any investment and agree a plan which will include how and when we anticipate an exit to occur. We all know that the business world is a fluid environment so this plan will be kept under constant review as you would expect. If this means that it makes sense for us to stay involved for longer than we originally envisaged then so be it.
+ How do you structure an investment?
We are flexible about the investment structure. We are results orientated and prepared to find something that works and makes sense for each transaction. We won't however proceed with any transaction where there isn't a clear business plan and a comprehensive shareholder agreement.
It is important to us that everyone understands how things work.
+ You aren't a bank so how do you provide debt funding?
We have partnerships with debt providers which allow us to provide asset based lending on property, plant and machinery, inventory and book debts. The money for these transactions is provided from a variety of sources including some high net worth investors and back to back debt facilities with banks.
We are not a brokerage and will have a hands on involvement in the lending decision with our debt partners.
+ Will your funding partners buy impaired debt?
Yes we are prepared to consider a transaction that involves acquiring an existing debt facility if it makes sense in the wider context of a plan for the business.
We are not merely distressed debt traders so we need to understand the underlying business and assets.
+ Will you buy businesses from an insolvency practitioner?
Yes but we are realistic about the damage that will have been done to a business as a result of an insolvency. We would therefore always prefer insolvency practitioners to approach us prior to an insolvency to see if there is an alternative investment led restructuring solution.
+ Do you strangle the business with huge levels of new debt?
Absolutely not. Our investors are seeking a return from the successful delivery of a business plan. This means the business needs to deliver on an operational level and can't be stifled by an inappropriate funding structure.
+ Where does a business need to be located?
We are interested in businesses which are headquartered in the UK. We don't mind which part of the UK and we are very happy to look at businesses that have overseas operations.
Whether equity or debt we will require investment or lending agreements to be governed by English Law.
+ What sectors do you look at?
We are flexible about the sector a business sits in. The important thing for us is that we understand the business, its product and its market place and that we are convinced that there is a viable proposition.
If your business doesn't tick these boxes for us we will tell you quickly – we aren't in the business of wasting your time or ours.
+ Do you always change the management team following an equity investment in a turnaround?
We do however recognise that where a business is facing significant change the existing management may need to be supplemented and in some cases changed. We are open and frank about these issues and don't believe in cloak and dagger behaviour.
Our equity funding partners will always reserve the right to make management changes if necessary and in pre defined circumstances.
+Isn't there a conflict between an advisory role and an investment role?
Not if everyone is absolutely clear of their role. If we are looking at a transaction from the perspective of an investment or the provision of commercial finance we won't take an advisory role on behalf of the investment target or potential borrower.
We respect the role and skills of other advisors in a transaction and are more than happy to work with your existing advisors.