Category: Corporate Finance and M&A/Deals

Brooks MacDonald Group Plc Acquisition of DPZ Capital Limited
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Brooks MacDonald Group Plc Acquisition of DPZ Capital Limited


• Acquisition of Jersey based DPZ for an initial consideration of £5.7m, made up of £3m in cash and the issue of New Ordinary Shares in the Group at a value of £2.7m. The total consideration payable by the Group will not exceed £13m, which includes c.£1m of net current assets.

• Significant expansion of, and enhancement of the skills and offering of, the Group’s international and offshore division.

• Expected to be earnings enhancing in the full year to June 2015.

• Increases pro forma discretionary funds under management by £360m to £6.04bn.

DPZ is a well-established wealth management business based in Jersey which was founded in 2007. It manages a range of distinct investment strategies founded on its core competencies: asset allocation, manager selection, fixed interest and credit investing, and equity selection. Funds under management since DPZ’s inception have grown rapidly and, as at 31 March 2014, DPZ had c.£430m of funds, c.£360m of which is managed on a discretionary basis, c.£60m of which is managed on an advisory basis and c.£10m is managed on an execution only basis


Should the full value of DPZ funds under management transfer to BMI, based on their value as at 31 March 2014, the consideration would be, in total, £10.8m (excluding net current assets).

The consideration will be satisfied by an immediate cash payment of £3m together with a payment of New Ordinary Shares in the Group to the value of £2.7m. The number of shares issued will be based on an agreed price of 1706.4 pence per New Ordinary Share. A further payment in cash of £2.4m will be paid in October 2014. These three elements together, totalling £8.1m, represent 75% of the total consideration.

Based on the value of DPZ’s funds under management at 31 March 2016, a cash payment will be made comprising the total consideration due at that date less the upfront consideration already paid.

All of the cash payments will be financed from the Group’s internal resources and the exact number of shares issued by the Group as part of the upfront consideration will be separately announced.

Reasons for and benefits of the acquisition:

The Group’s stated strategy has been to build on the successful integration and growth of its international division, BMI, which was acquired in 2012, with further expansion of the international team and its capabilities, thereby strengthening its offering and accelerating its growth rate. Since acquisition, BMI has grown its funds under management and has increased the size of its team by 15 staff. The acquisition of DPZ is consistent with furthering this growth strategy.

The acquisition will increase the Group’s international presence significantly, with an increase in discretionary funds under management managed out of the Channel Islands of over 50%. In addition, DPZ brings additional skills to the business, which are expected to prove valuable routes to growth. First, the Group intends creating a new Fixed Income offering based on the existing DPZ team who have been very successful in the asset class. Secondly, the Group will create a new Platform Team reflecting the success of DPZ’s International MPS solution enabling this offering to be expanded further.

Chelsea Village HR Head joins RiverPeak
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Chelsea Village HR Head joins RiverPeak

Clare has a wealth of experience including time as Group HR Manager for Chelsea Village PLC. Clare will be adding her expertise to the team as RiverPeak continues its planned growth.

Launched in December, RiverPeak Wealth provides portfolio management, investment analysis and financial planning advice.

James Powell, RiverPeak Managing Director, said, “We are delighted to have Clare join us, she brings with her enormous experience in dealing with the day to day issues surrounding a growing company like ours. Importantly she adds invaluable knowledge in the HR field as we look to add further experienced advisers to our team. We are really looking forward to working with Clare”.

Clare Grout added “I am very excited by the opportunity that RiverPeak Wealth has in financial services and I’m looking forward to supporting the directors’ ambitious growth plans”.

Info Risk Higher for Acquisitions Than Mergers
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Info Risk Higher for Acquisitions Than Mergers

Company acquisitions can have a devastating impact on information security and management, with the employees of acquired firms more preoccupied with the potential impact on their role than with the need to effectively integrate the information of both companies, according to new European research[1] by storage and information management company Iron Mountain. This lack of focus during an acquisition could leave information at increased risk of loss or exposure. The picture is different when companies merge, and employees stay focused on integration and ensuring company information remains well managed.

The top two information concerns of employees at acquired firms are: confusion around responsibilities for managing the information (34%) and the prospect of change to their information management systems (33%). Just over a quarter of employees (27%) at acquired firms worry about consolidating different sets of customer or company records, and less than one in five (17%) worry about how to deal with data discrepancies, duplication and overlap.

This contrasts sharply with the concerns of staff at the acquiring firm, where 41% worry about integrating the two data sets and 34% are concerned about the quality of the data.

Furthermore, one in three employees of acquired firms say there are no policies for integrating records or protecting customer data compared to just 19% of those at the acquiring firm. Paper records are a serious concern, with 44% of newly acquired firms saying there is no process for integrating paper into new digital systems, and 31% saying the same for the storage of the paper archive.

The picture for company mergers is very different, with employees at both firms focused equally on addressing the main aspects of information management. Nearly three quarters (71%) of employees feel supported in record integration during a merger, and nearly two thirds (62%) feel the same about the protection of customer data.

Discussing the findings, Charlotte Marshall, Managing Director of Iron Mountain in the UK, Ireland and Norway said: “Information management is often an afterthought when companies merge. However, given the value of information and the desire of merging firms to rationalise cost structures, it should be a priority. Joining forces with or acquiring another organisation provides an opportunity for firms to re-evaluate their information management programmes and make the changes required to drive consistency, increase security and improve access to information.”

“Our study shows that the emotional impact of acquisitions can cause employees to lose focus on how information is managed. Information on paper is particularly vulnerable, with many firms having no effective storage or integration plans in place, thereby leaving potentially valuable data at increased risk of loss or exposure. Because employees can feel insecure and unsupported during times of change, communication is key. Consistent and clear instruction on how to deal with the information challenges ahead will help employees to understand how information should be managed going forward, where the key responsibilities lie, and what advantages new information management processes can bring.”

Appointment at Quilter Cheviot
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Appointment at Quilter Cheviot

Mo Baluchi, previously head of intermediaries at Credit Suisse, has joined the company as Business Development Director.

The appointment follows a year in which Quilter Cheviot’s Jersey office grew its funds under management by 14%. The office also celebrated the 40th anniversary of its presence on the island in 2013.

Office head Tim Childe said: “Mo is a welcome addition to the team here. His appointment is a reflection of our growth during 2013 and our confidence in relation to growth prospects for the future.

“Mo is a highly regarded finance professional who brings with him a wealth of expertise and unrivalled contacts within the intermediary and introducer marketplace.”

Quilter Cheviot CEO Martin Baines described the Jersey office’s 2013 growth as ‘stellar’ and said it had helped the business nationally break the £15bn* barrier for funds under management.

He added: “The growth is testament to the quality of our investment advice and the character of our relationships with clients and professional intermediaries.”

Baluchi will cover business development with intermediaries, introducers and high net worth private clients and will be working alongside Quilter Cheviot’s existing business development executive in Jersey, Chris Scott.

Mo has lived in Jersey for 10 years and in his spare time likes to spend time with his wife and three children. He is also a Director at the Lions Club of Jersey, a Chartered FCSI and a Chartered Wealth Manager.

Quilter Cheviot has an experienced team working across national, international and regional market-places, with significant expertise in dealing with multi-currency solutions.

Mr Childe added that the firm, which operates across 13 locations in the Channel Islands, UK and Ireland, intended to capitalise on its record for consistency and quality of performance.

ACPI Appoints New Head of Emerging Markets
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

ACPI Appoints New Head of Emerging Markets

ACPI Investment Managers, the independent, innovative provider of asset management solutions for institutional and individual investors, has appointed Daniel Moreno as Head of Emerging Markets.

Daniel brings with him a wealth of experience in currencies and frontier markets. He has been managing portfolios in both long and absolute return EM products for over 15 years. Alongside heading up the Emerging Markets team at ACPI, he will be running the ACPI Emerging Markets Fixed Income Fund.

Prior to joining ACPI, Daniel was the founder and managing partner at EM Quest Capital. He has also worked for Sydbank, Global Evolution and DWS Investments. Daniel started his career as a fixed income and currency research analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. He holds a Masters in Management from ESCP.

Brett Lankester, Co-Chief Executive Officer at ACPI Investment Managers said: “I am very pleased that Daniel has joined ACPI. He has a strong background in emerging markets and his knowledge of frontier markets will be particularly valuable. Emerging markets will be a key driver of growth over the coming decades and Daniel’s appointment will help us capitalise on this. I look forward to working with Daniel in the future.”

Daniel Moreno, Head of Emerging Markets at ACPI Investment Managers said: “I am delighted to be joining ACPI at such an exciting time for emerging markets. ACPI has a great reputation as one of the leading emerging market investment houses and I am really looking forward to being part of such a fantastic team.”

Amundi and Tikehau Sign Partnership Agreement
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Amundi and Tikehau Sign Partnership Agreement


Amundi and Tikehau today announced a strategic asset management partnership.

The two companies will focus their cooperation on private debt management to offer institutional and retail clients high value-added products for their investment return needs in a low interest rates environment. Leveraging on its strong international presence, Amundi will provide its clients with access to Tikehau IM’s innovative and bespoke product range.

This agreement will enable Tikehau to accelerate the development of its asset management platform, Tikehau IM, targeting all client segments from retail clients to institutional investors and sovereign funds. Together, the two companies will also be able to launch new products marketed under the Amundi / Tikehau dual brand. Finally, both companies will jointly explore future avenues of cooperation in all their areas of expertise.

Under this partnership, and subject to the supervisory authorities’ approval, Amundi will acquire a 12.8% stake in the management company Tikehau IM, in line with long standing partner Arkéa, and become a shareholder of Tikehau Capital Advisors, the head structure of the Tikehau group, with 7.3% of the capital, alongside its Partners and Unicredit.

Yves Perrier, Chief Executive Officer, Amundi, said: “This partnership is perfectly in line with Amundi’s product policy, offering its clients a broad range of high-quality expertise tailored to the needs of each client segment. In addition to its in-house asset management, Amundi will be able to offer products from external partnerships. Since its creation, Tikehau has proven the excellence of its expertise and its innovation capacity, especially in private debt.

Thanks to this agreement, Amundi, the European leader in Fixed Income with more than €400 billion assets under management, reinforces its private debt funds offering, which already represents €4 billion. This operation also confirms Amundi’s commitment to develop Paris’ asset management industry together with its most innovative entrepreneurial players.”

Antoine Flamarion, President and founder of the Tikehau group, declared: “This agreement marks a major milestone in the development of Tikehau. We are very pleased to welcome Amundi as a new strategic partner alongside our long-standing partners. As a leading player in Asset Management, Amundi has a reputation for excellence among investors. Together, we will be able to offer many clients bespoke, innovative and high value-added products, especially in the private debt area where Tikehau has established a renowned expertise in recent years in Europe.”

GE Capital Provides $300M to Accolade
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

GE Capital Provides $300M to Accolade

GE Capital International, the global alternative finance provider dedicated to the mid-market, announces it has provided a US$300m cross-border financing facility to Accolade Wines, the largest wine company by volume of wine sold in Australia and the UK.

Accolade Wines initially secured a US$220m financing facility from GE Capital International in 2011. This latest finance solution provides upsized global facilities to Accolade Wines, as the company recapitalises its balance sheet to fund the continued global growth of the business.

Over the last 12 months, GE Capital International has funded more than US$800m in cross-border deals and introduced a Global Financial Solutions (GFS) team dedicated to providing a one-stop shop for cross-border financing solutions.

One of these deals was a US$250m pan-European and North American ABL financing solution to global rigid and flexible packaging firm, Coveris (formerly Exopack) in November. This reflects the increasing numbers of corporate companies who recognize the advantage of having a single, global financing partner. A strong pipeline is in place for 2014 and beyond as appetite for this form of financing continues to grow.

Richard Laxer, President and CEO, GE Capital International, said: “Many of our customers’ businesses cover multiple geographies. Our global footprint and experience in cross-border transactions position us to provide global financing solutions that fit our customer needs. We were able to support Accolade Wines and CHAMP Private Equity, Accolade’s majority owner with a financing facility to help them fund the continued global growth of
their business.”

John Ratcliffe, CEO, Accolade Wines, said: “We have been partnering with GE for some time. GE’s global platform is important to the implementation of our strategy of being a full-service New World wine proposition globally across the three core price segments of value, mid-market and premium. We operate globally and working with GE allows us to do this seamlessly across multiple geographies.”

Senior Hire for Kinetic Partners
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Senior Hire for Kinetic Partners

Kinetic Partners, a leading global adviser to the financial services industry, has announced that Iain Pickard has joined its London office as a Member within the consulting team.

Iain has been brought in to lead Kinetic Partners’ expansion into the retail financial services and insurance markets.

Iain has 30 years of experience in leadership and risk management across multiple sectors. He spent the first 20 years of his career in the British Army and achieved the rank of Colonel. He then went on to gain a MBA and has since then held a number of senior commercial roles including Chief Operating Officer for Marsh’s UK Retail business.

In recent years Iain’s experience has been in delivering assurance and regulatory change in financial services firms. His portfolio of clients has included global insurance firms and brokers, retail and commercial banks, FX and CFD brokers, wealth managers, consumer credit and other retail Financial Services firms. He assists firms in resolving issues connected with risk management, retail sales practice as well as third-party payments for insurance brokers.

Iain joins from RSM Tenon/Baker Tilly where he set up the financial services risk practice and subsequently led the Financial Services sector across the firm. Iain was also responsible for creating and leading the RSM Tenon/Baker Tilly consortium on the UK PRA/FCA ‘Skilled Person’ panel for conducting reviews into governance, controls and risk frameworks, conduct of business and data and IT infrastructure.

Monique Melis, Global Head of Consulting at Kinetic Partners said of Iain’s arrival: “Iain’s hire represents real progress in the development of our consulting offerings. Many clients, from fast growing banks to broker/dealers are facing risk management and control frameworks issues, on top of financial crime and money-laundering challenges which are impacting across all sectors. With his background in retail financial services and insurance, his skills and expertise will prove critical as we continue to grow as a business. We are delighted to welcome Iain to the team.”

VC Landscape Poised for Growth
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

VC Landscape Poised for Growth


Data on the European venture capital (VC) sector released at the 12th Entrepreneur Country Forum, organised by Ariadne Capital, points to a healthy environment for both investment and return opportunities in European high-growth technology star-up businesses.

Speaking at Ariadne’s EC Forum, Matthias Ummenhofer, Head of VC at the European Investment Fund (EIF), shared EIF’s 2013 data announcing over €4bn of commitments across 248 European VC funds and Business Angels over the course of last year up from €3.4bn in 2012. The majority of the capital invested in 2013 by 103 VC funds and angels, 52%, went into Information and communication technology firms while 18% of the portfolio was invested in UK businesses, followed by Germany with 16% and France, 15%. In 2013, 16 European companies in EIF’s underlying VC portfolio were exited at valuations above US$100m, with an aggregated exit value of over €10.4bn and an average multiple of 5.9x, underpinning Europe’s rising performance in venture investing.

Also speaking at the conference, Marcus Stuttard, Head of AIM at London Stock Exchange, shared his bullish expectations of AIM following 62 successful listings and £1.1bn of capital raised through IPOs in 2013. He further talked about the positive impact of the rule change from last August, allowing AIM-quoted securities to be included in ISAs. This is already seen in the AIM’s outperforming of FTSE100 indices since then.

Julie Meyer, CEO of Ariadne Capital, commented using the David and Goliath analogy: “The most successful businesses will be the digital enablers, the ‘Davids’ whose disruptive forces can transform whole industries.

“Innovation nowadays is about economic models and not technology. The constantly growing number of game-changing technology start-up businesses in Europe illustrates the ability of European entrepreneurs to compete and overtake their Silicon Valley counterparts while redefining the entrepreneurship landscape.”

€64bn Non-core Loans Sold Last Year
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

€64bn Non-core Loans Sold Last Year


2013 was a record year from a transaction perspective with €64bn of Europe’s non-core loans sold as part of portfolio transactions last year, a 40% increase on the previous year, according to PwC’s latest market update.

Increased activity levels were mainly driven by the UK and Ireland, along with Spain and Germany. Richard Thompson, Partner at PwC, commented: “We expect that 2014 will be another record year for the European non-core loan market, with activity levels expected to reach an all-time high of around €80bn. We also estimate that loan portfolios with a total face value of more than €30bn have closed or are in the process of closing already. 

“Transaction activity is fuelled by the continuing need of many European banks to reduce the size of their balance sheet and restructure their operations. Bank restructuring will continue over at least the next five years – with activity likely to be fuelled by the findings of the Eurozone wide Asset Quality Reviews (AQRs) and stress tests currently underway”

PwC estimates that banks across Europe are still holding loan assets of €2.4tn which they regard as non-core. Whilst a large number of banks are taking significant steps to reduce their exposures to these unwanted assets a continual reappraisal of their balance sheets is leading to the identification of additional orphan assets.

Richard adds: “Private equity and hedge funds were the most active buyers in 2013. We expect that to continue in 2014 due to the significant amounts of investment funds raised and the availability of debt financing, especially for more established players in the sector. We are in contact with over 150 investment groups looking to invest in the European market. For 2014, we expect property-backed lending to remain the most active asset class.”

Stronger Performance from Ex-military
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Stronger Performance from Ex-military


• One in five (20%) FTSE 100 companies have Board Directors with a military background and 39% have ex-military senior directors 

• 88% of ex-military entrepreneurs believe their training has helped them to be more successful

• 40% of retail investors believe companies run by senior executives with a military background are likely to be better run than those without them

• 38% of retail investors are more likely to invest in a company with a CEO who has a military background, compared to 11% who are less likely to do this

A new report from Professor Merlin Stone, a leading economist, shows that the leadership skills and strategic planning learned in the armed forces transfers very well to the business world, helping to deliver superior growth and investment returns.

Some 62% of senior executives interviewed believe business leaders with a military background perform better under pressure as a result, and 60% think that they are better at defining goals and motivating others to follow them.
The report says that the benefits of a military background extend beyond operating in established businesses: 88% of ex-military entrepreneurs believe their training has helped them to be more successful, and 27% said it made raising funds easier. 

New analysis for the report reveals that one in five (20%) of FTSE 100 companies have Board Directors with a military background and four in ten (39%) of these have ex-armed forces senior executives. Looking at companies in the FTSE 250, 11% and 19% of these have ex-military Board Directors and senior executives respectively.

Furthermore nearly twice as many investment experts (IFAs) believe CEOs with a military background is a ‘positive’. Similarly, 40% of retail investors see companies run by senior executives with a military background as being an advantage, and 38% would be more willing to invest in a company with a CEO who has served in the armed forces against 11% who would be less willing to do this.

The report, which has been commissioned by TIME:REBOOT VCT, a new Venture Capital Trust (VCT) which is the first in the UK to invest exclusively in successful and dynamic businesses run by commercially proven ex-military entrepreneurs, says there are currently around two million ex-military people working in the UK, but with the current defence budget cuts, this number is growing.

Professor Stone’s report says thousands of highly trained military personnel are leaving the armed forces as a result of defence cuts, but as they enter the workforce and many set up their own businesses, they will provide a strong boost to the economy.

Professor Stone said: “Our research shows that many senior executives of companies and investors view a military background in entrepreneurs and people running companies as a positive.

“The UK military is highly professional and well trained, but as a result of defence cuts many of its personnel are moving on from active service and entering the workplace, which is very good news for our economy and jobs.

“From an investment perspective, companies run by former military personnel have a measureable competitive advantage, and investors need to be aware of the opportunities this presents.”

Nigel Ashfield, Managing Director of TIME Investments said: “We have considerable experience of the SME and VCT market and have identified some incredibly strong and financially exciting businesses run by ex-military people to invest in. As a result of this, we are confident of delivering – on a conservative basis and including tax relief – growth in excess of 70% over the first five years and to double our investors money over 10 years.

Stuart Nicol, Founder of Reboot Ventures, who served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and ran successful VCTs for Octopus Investments said: “By investing in businesses run by ex-military entrepreneurs we expect to be able to prove a positive relationship between military service and entrepreneurial ability. We will do so whilst making money for our investors. This has far reaching benefits to our economy and on the costs and benefits of serving in our Armed Forces.”

Tim Hames, Director General of the British Venture Capital Association said: “TIME:REBOOT VCT is an excellent use of Government tax relief and the kind of honest, innovative finance we need to grow our small businesses and make sure the best people are leading them.”

Christopher Benarr, Head of UK Clients at Berkeley Square Wealth Group said: “It is great to see TIME:REBOOT VCT’s unique investment concept, which couldn’t be better timed as there’s so much support for the military and ex-military amongst my clients. I really like the prudent portfolio approach, aiming to protect the downside and still generate exciting returns.”

Senior executive and financial intermediary viewpoint
• 28% of senior executives interviewed believe that companies run by senior executives with a military background are better run than those who don’t have this. The corresponding figure for financial intermediaries is 32%.

• 27% believe that over the long term, companies run by ex-military people offer potentially higher returns for investors than their competitors – 40% said it has no impact. The corresponding figures for IFAs are 24% and 37%.

• 76% believe that senior executives with a military background have better organisational skills as result of this, and 62% believe that they remain calmer under pressure. 60% think that they are better at defining goals and motivating others to follow them. The corresponding figures for IFAs are 90%, 75% and 68%.

Entrepreneurs with a military background
• 88% of entrepreneurs with a military background believe that the experience they have gained as a result of this has made them more successful as business people.

• 91% believe that they remain calm under pressure because of this background, 88% say that it means that they are better at defining goals and motivating people to follow them, and 84% think they have better organisational skills.

• Some 27% think their military background has helped them to raise funds for their business, against only 3.6% who think this has hindered them here.

Research from an earlier report revealed that companies in the S&P 500 run by CEOs with a military background delivered higher returns that the S&P 500 index over one, three, five and 10 years. It also revealed that they tended to survive longer in their roles– probably because of their market beating performance. They boasted a median tenure of five years and an average tenure of 7.2 years, compared to four years and 4.5 years for all S&P 500 CEOs.


Interest Rates On the Up
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Interest Rates On the Up

The Bank of England governor’s statement that interest rates could rise six-fold in the next three years has been met with muted optimism by the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

deVere Group’s founder and chief executive, Nigel Green’s reaction comes after Mark Carney told MPs on Tuesday that the bank rate could reach 3 per cent within three years. It is currently at 0.5 per cent, where it has been since the BoE halved the rate five years ago.

Mr Green comments: “This is, of course, another welcome positive indicator that the economy is recovering.

“Naturally, the forecast is also step in the right direction for anyone who has savings in a bank or building society – and especially for pensioners and others living off a fixed income. These savers, who represent the vast majority of the UK population, are the ones who have been hit hardest by the interest rates being at historic lows for so long.

“However, with rates still not expected to reach even above 3 per cent before 2017, it makes for almost a decade of misery for British savers. As such, I do not expect the millions of hard-working Brits, who have been prudently putting money aside and who have been adversely affected by years and years of monumentally low interest rates, will be hanging out the bunting and popping the champagne corks just yet.”

Earlier this month, Mr Green said that he expected a growing number of British retirees to consider higher risk investments in order to receive a better rate of return as a direct result of the Bank of England’s prediction that interest rates are likely to remain low until the end of the decade.

He explained: “Tired of their cash holdings making them, in effect, poorer over time, I fully expect more and more retirees will turn traditional investment thinking on its head. An increasing number will, I believe, consider higher risk-higher return investment opportunities as part of a well-diversified portfolio in order to be able to fund the lifestyle in retirement they want to enjoy.

“Traditionally, the mindset has been that as we get older we should reduce our exposure to risk and, for example, increase holdings of cash and bonds. However, in today’s world this prudent intention could have serious unintended consequences.”

Crowdfunding Aiming in the Right Direction
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Crowdfunding Aiming in the Right Direction

Jean Miller, CEO of Investing Zone, looks at how crowdfunding could be a future AIM feeder for high-growth technology companies.

Last year, tech flotations accounted for a third of UK IPOs, firmly cementing the country as home to some of the best tech start-ups in the world.

Following this surge, the head of UK primary markets and AIM at the London Stock Exchange, Marcus Stuttard, proclaimed that the pipeline for tech IPOs remains ‘very strong’ for the next year.

Stuttard’s predictions highlight that confidence is returning and investors are getting excited about the potential of new technologies and high-growth companies, something which we’re also witnessing.

Rezatec and Rockstar

British satellite and environmental data products provider, Rezatec, is very close to completing £500,000 as part of larger equity funding round using the InvestingZone equity platform.

Rezatec supplies its customers with high value environmental data products that help them manage the impact of environmental change on their businesses and has also received funding from the Technology Strategy Board (the UK’s Innovation Agency), the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency. The company has contracts in place with a range of users across the energy, supply chain and agribusiness sectors.

In addition, Rockstar, a network storage solution for the SME market, has successfully raised £325,000 using the InvestingZone platform. Rockstar combines physical storage with a cloud-based functionality so that customers are able to access their data from anywhere in the world. It targets a gap in the SME data storage market left by Apple’s refocus on the consumer rather than the enterprise solutions. The company is already winning orders and achieving revenue, their exciting growth plans which include Private Cloud solutions marks them as one to watch for the future.

Crowdfunding: A feeder for future tech IPOs?

Whilst the growing appetite for hyper-growth companies is reassuring, it’s important for investors to remember that tech start-ups often require larger funding requirements and have longer time scales to market however, they are also generally more likely to generate returns for investors.

What’s needed for ambitious tech start-ups is a stage before IPO. Early-stage tech companies need an opportunity to raise finance, grow effectively and gain valuable experience of working with shareholders. Equity-crowdfunding achieves this by allowing companies to benefit from the experience of sophisticated investors. In the long-term this could enable a smoother – more successful – transition to IPO and avoid the potential of another tech-bubble emerging.”

Investec Specialist Corporate Capital Strengthens
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Investec Specialist Corporate Capital Strengthens

Investec Specialist Bank has announced the appointment of Tim Howson to its Corporate Lending business.

Tim joins the Specialist Corporate Capital team, headed by Callum Bell, which originates, structures and arranges finance for transactions by financial sponsors and corporate clients with an enterprise value of between £100 million and £500 million.

Tim joins Investec from Jefferies & Co, where he was Senior Vice President in the Leveraged Finance team. Tim was responsible for the origination and execution of leveraged loan and high yield bond financings to support financial sponsors and corporate acquisitions. As part of this role, Tim also worked on refinancing transactions across Western Europe, CEE and MENA. Prior to this, Tim worked in the Leveraged Finance team at UBS Investment Bank and the mid-market Leveraged Finance team at Barclays, both based in London.

Callum Bell of Investec, said: “Tim’s appointment reflects our continued strategy of supporting corporate clients and financial sponsors in the mid-market. His origination and lending experience will support the team’s growth ambitions and reiterates our commitment to offering financing solutions to our clients to support their growth.”

Tim Howson said “I am excited to be joining Investec at this time and working in an ambitious, fast developing team focused on building long term relationships with corporates and financial sponsors, delivering financial solutions that help to add value for our clients.”

Claranet Shows Strong Growth
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Claranet Shows Strong Growth

Claranet has released its financial figures and reported a growth of 47 per cent, with turnover across the European Group increasing to £103m (€124m) over the last year (2012/13).

The financial results follow the first anniversary of two key acquisitions, Star (in the UK) and Typhon (in France), which the company made at the end of 2012, and reflect a year of strong performance across the business – with key customer wins and the successful integration of the new acquisitions into the Claranet Group.

Commenting on the last year, Charles Nasser, CEO of Claranet, says: “Our rapid growth this year has positioned Claranet as one of the largest independent managed services providers to mid-sized companies in
Western Europe.

“Our business approach ensures that we focus on the long-term future of the business, to benefit our customers and our staff over time. This means that we continue to invest in developing our services and processes as the company grows, and as the needs of our customers evolve.”

With the increasing consolidation of providers in the technology space across Europe, the acquisitions of Star (in the UK) and Typhon (in France) have ensured that Claranet is well-placed with a broader market offer, following the addition of communications services to its existing portfolio of network and hosting solutions.

The latest financial results top off a year that has seen Claranet positioned as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for European Managed Hosting, and win two industry Awards – for Entrepreneur of the Year for Charles Nasser (Datacentre and Cloud Awards, in June) and for the Best Customer Service Strategy Award (SVC Awards, in November). These highlights are combined with several significant customer wins that include River Island, Veolia, Lyons Davidson, Total, Elior UK Ltd, N24, Action For Children, Warner Brothers, Radley, Airbus and Peugeot/Citroen, to name just a few.

Commenting on the financial results, Nigel Fairhurst, Chief Financial Officer, Claranet Group, says: “We have achieved what we set out to in these acquisitions, expanding the portfolio with a wider offering for customers, yet ensuring that we took advantage of synergies when bringing the
businesses together.

“This has led to recurring EBITDA on a like-for-like basis, increasing by 95% year-on-year. In addition, the strength of the wider business is reflected in the contracted future revenue for the Group, which was in excess of £167m (€195m) at the end of the FY13, an increase of almost 100% on the previous year. This reflects both the size of the new contracts and the continued trend towards longer contracts.”

Charles concludes: “We are seeing a rapidly maturing cloud services market that is consolidating towards a smaller number of regional players at the mid-market level. Our strong growth last year was underpinned by the successful integration of our acquisitions into the business. Our plans are ambitious and as we look ahead into 2014, we expect the year to be one of further rapid growth and expansion for us across our Western
European market.”


350IP Beats Targets
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

350IP Beats Targets

350 Investment Partners (350IP), managers of The North West Fund for Energy and Environmental, has exceeded 2013 portfolio targets, investing in seven new clean tech and green energy companies across the region.

2013’s financial successes have been particularly beneficial to the Liverpool City Region, which received 30 per cent of the fund’s total financing for
the year.

The portfolio target for the end of 2014 was to have 14 companies on the books, with 350IP achieving this one year before it was scheduled.

Investment for the last year stands at £6.1m, accounting for more than half of the £11.7m invested since The Fund launched in 2011. With several more deals anticipated in the coming months, The Fund aims to be fully committed by the end of the year.

The North West Fund for Energy & Environmental is part of The North West Fund which is financed jointly by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

The evergreen fund provides investment to environmentally conscious enterprises, and promotes energy efficient business nationwide. This year saw seven new companies added to its portfolio, including Acoustic Sensing Technologies, MHA Lighting, PVC Recycling, Community Switch, Arvia Technologies, Sign Lights and Stopford Projects.

The new businesses join Acal Energy, Imperative Energy, EcoLogicLiving, PlaceFirst, Ultromex, SenseLogix and CableSense in helping The Fund succeed its original target of 14.

Adam Workman, partner at 350 IP, said: “This year has seen us get involved with some really exciting companies. We’re proud to support the sector and put the region on the map as a centre for green energy excellence
and innovation.

“We’re looking forward to further extending our investments this year and engaging with more socially aware enterprises that continue to enhance the UK economy and wider environment. We could be fully committed by the end of this year which is an extremely exciting prospect.”

Former Colleagues join forces at Insight
Corporate Finance and M&A/DealsFinance

Former Colleagues join forces at Insight

Insight are pleased to announce that Doug Smith has joined their rapidly growing Corporate Insurance consultancy business.

Doug has held previous senior positions as Chairman of Marsh’s Private Equity practice and latterly as Non-Exec Deputy Chairman of Willis M&A practice, and is widely regarded as one of the leading UK insurance advisors on transactional insurance issues to the private equity industry and major/mid size corporates.

Doug will team up again with former Corporate Risk plc colleague Colin Paterson, Managing Director and founder of Insight, and will focus on broadening and strengthening relationships with the private
equity community.

He will also provide strategic advice on growing Insight’s unique concept of introducing client-side (in house) corporate insurance expertise, free from any commercial conflicts, directly to the PE community and their portfolio companies, and to corporate insurance buyers of medium/large corporates.

Commenting on the appointment, Colin Paterson said: “We are delighted to have been able to attract the services of Doug Smith in an advisory non-executive role. Doug is recognised as being one of the UK’s most experienced insurance professionals and has a long-standing track record in advising private equity firms and corporate business from both operational and strategic perspectives on Insurance matters.

We look forward to working together again and I am sure Insight will greatly benefit from his participation and professional input, which will further assist us in rolling out our unique client-side corporate insurance offering and attaining our expansion plans.”

Doug, whose previous roles include Chairman and Founder of insurance broker Corporate Risk plc, Director and Chairman of Heart of Midlothian from 1997 – 2004 together with a number of Public & Private companies, commented: “Insight is providing a valuable service, increasingly recognised by corporate insurance buyers. It allows the key process of insurance renewal and risk issues to be dealt with using the in-house services of experienced insurance professionals from Insight. I am very much looking forward to the challenge of developing Insight in the UK and
European markets.”