Homebuy is a leading retail financial services business headquartered in the Midlands with operations across the UK in Glasgow, Belfast, Rotherham, Wigan and Sevenoaks.
Homebuy supplies its 20,000 customers with electrical and other household products which it sells on credit to the non-conforming lending market. In addition to supplying product on hire purchase agreements, the business also provides small cash loans to existing customers, who have established an acceptable credit history.
Intrinsic Equity partnered with Seneca Capital and management to fund the £10m buyout of Homebuy, with James Grenfell joining the Board.
In January 2014, the business’s main shareholder was unable to advance further capital to meet customer demand and grow the loan book. In order to secure alternative sources of finance the business needed a significant injection of new equity capital.
As a result, the existing shareholder started to wind down the business and enter a loan collect-out period to maximise his position. Customer demand remained strong but under a collect-out regime this demand could not be met due to the constraints of working capital.
After being introduced in mid-May, Intrinsic worked closely with Seneca to appraise the opportunity, carry out due diligence and help secure an asset based finance facility on non-standard asset base in a complicated business model.
The new funding enabled the main shareholder to exit and will allow Homebuy to develop and strengthen its long established and growing presence in its regional markets.
Abacus is a global leader in innovative and creative lighting solutions. Established over 55 years ago, it designs, manufactures, installs and maintains columns, masts and high performance exterior lighting, in some of the world’s most challenging environments.
The Abacus brand is specified across a wide range of industries including rail, sports, airports, ports, car parks, telecommunications and bespoke applications. The head office is located in Mansfield, UK, where it employed c. 150 people, and it had international group operations in China, Singapore, Dubai and Russia.
Intrinsic Equity invested and led the deal to acquire the trade and assets of the business from the administrator in a pre-pack process. We also introduced the new CEO and FD to the business and James Grenfell joined the Board on investment.
Abacus had suffered from cashflow difficulties as a result of heavy investment in its international growth strategy on an inefficient and high cost base, and increasing payments to meet the liabilities of a defined benefit pension scheme.
The transaction involved a pre-packed administration process, negotiating a complex transaction to deal with the international group structure and achieving significant working capital facilities in tight timescales. We also needed to maintain the support of the international customer base and manage the global supply and distributor relationships. The deal enabled HSBC to recover all of its debts and unsecured creditors to recover over £2m of Oldco debt.
In May 2013, the first month of trading the business lost around £300k, largely due the inability to activate the supply chain and fulfil the extended order book. The restructuring of people costs went ahead of plan in terms of both quantum and timing. By the end of May 2013 we had reduced the cost base by circa £3m and created a business model that could breakeven on sales of £1.2m a month rather than £2m previously.
With the exception of the first month, the business has not made less than £100k operating profit in any month. In the first year of trading the company published accounts showing an operating profit of £1.4m (which had absorbed the losses in May 2013 and also an element of restructuring costs). The business was effectively de-leveraged at the end of 2014.
Accutronics is a bespoke battery manufacturer based in Newcastle-under-Lyme specialising in developing and assembling custom designed power solutions for high-end global OEM businesses, primarily in the medical sector.
Over several years the Chinese state-owned parent company had transferred turnover and volume, production and profit contribution to another group company in China. The net effect of this was to starve the business of cash and create uncertainty.
Intrinsic worked with the General Manager for a number of months to deliver a solvent solution to acquire the business. However the vendor was unwilling to complete a sale and as a result Fortis the company’s banker lost confidence in the Chinese parent and placed the business into administration in September 2009.
Intrinsic led the deal as principal to acquire the trade and assets of the business from the administrator, putting together an equity funding solution alongside the General Manager and Catapult Venture Managers.
Accutronics grew significantly during the six years Intrinsic were invested, generating a revenue of over £8m for the year ended August 2015. The strategic focus was directed on the medical sector and on the development of its own brand of products for value enhancement.
In January 2016 Accutronics was acquired by US-based Ultralife Corporation (NASDAQ: ULBI) for £7.6m.
HCA is a group of care homes based in Somerset specialising in residential care for young adults with complex needs arising from autism.
RBS helped to fund the growth of HCA to four homes and 20 placements but the business underperformed at a time when the bank was changing its lending criteria following the recession in 2008. HCA couldn’t afford the capital repayments and was placed into RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) and advised to seek investment and support.
Intrinsic invested for a significant minority stake, enabling the business to fund the development of a new home to meet the increasing market demand and enable the debt structure to be serviced.
Intrinsic was chosen ahead of other sources of finance because of its successful investment track record in delivering shareholder value in difficult situations and our specialism in the healthcare services sector.
HCA has recently acquired its eleventh home with funding from RBS which increases capacity to 63 placements. Since the investment the business has grown from £2.5m to over £8m turnover.
TM Acoustic Technologies is a leading European manufacturer specialising in the development and production of acoustic and thermal insulation products, including aesthetic interior and exterior trim components, engine bay systems and barrier floor mats.
TMAT supplies many leading vehicle and cabin manufacturers throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas and its markets extend across all vehicle sectors including automotive, agricultural, construction, municipal, PSV and material handling.
Intrinsic acquired the business in 2009 from the administrator and introduced a new senior management team (Andrew Ramsbottom and David Gee) to support the existing operations director and turn the business around.
Through a combination of operational efficiency improvements, overhead savings and re-pricing of key product lines the business was stabilised and restored to profitability.
In December 2014 TMAT was acquired by Blachford Inc, based in North America. The sale will allow TMAT to exploit additional overseas markets and Blachford to cross-sell into the UK.
The deal has returned a 20 times multiple on Intrinsic Equity's original investment.
The Works is a discount retailer of books, arts & crafts, toys, games and audio visual products. It is headquartered in the West Midlands and operates over 300 stores across the UK and Ireland.
The Works entered into administration in 2008 owing nearly £80m to its creditors and HSBC. Hermes, the private equity owner paid £50m to acquire the business a few years before and following a number of strategic and management changes, performance deteriorated. In the year prior to administration the business lost over £10m.
Intrinsic orchestrated a deal to acquire the trade and assets from Kroll the administrator which has allowed HSBC to recover over £20m of debt and safeguard the future of the business that would otherwise have been closed.
Under a new management team, the store portfolio was rationalised and the strategy was returned back to the core principles that had made the business a success historically.
The Works has consistently made operating profits of between £8m and £10m and continue to grow driven by new store openings and investment in online presence.
Spaform had been manufacturing hot tubs from a site in Portsmouth since the early 1980s and was subject to a management buyout backed by ISIS Equity Partners in 2003. Although the company was the largest spa maker in Europe the business materially underperformed and finally ran out of cash in December 2005 owing creditors over £10m.
Within a week of being introduced to the opportunity, Alex and Intrinsic stepped in to rescue the business and acquired the trade and assets out of administration. The deal saved the jobs of the 70-strong workforce and transferred the debts owed to its existing funders, Venture Finance, to the new business. The quick deal ensured that the production of Spaform's hot tubs would not be affected.
The key elements of the turnaround were:
In February 2007 the company was sold for £4.5 million (of which £3.0m was upfront) to Teuco Guzzini a family owned Italian business which designs, manufactures and distributes upmarket bathroom products, such as showers, saunas and spas. This was a great result for all parties guaranteeing the future of the business and its staff, and creating a good platform for future growth. The deal repaid all of the funding for Venture Finance and generated a capital gain of more than £1.8 million for Alex and Intrinsic.