Building on a record year

March 5, 2019

As one of the leading names in corporate finance in the North East, attracting business from across the UK as well as international mandates, RG Corporate Finance (RGCF) is planning for further growth after a record 2018. Carl Swansbury, partner and head of corporate finance at RGCF, explains how the business is well-placed to take advantage of opportunities created by Brexit, and how investment during the last recession continues to pay dividends

The creation of RG Corporate Finance (RGCF) in 2011, a bold and ambitious move during a particularly turbulent time for the UK economy, has proved to be an astute decision with RGCF now reaping the rewards by winning work regionally, nationally and internationally.

RGCF has become a key player in the dealmaking community. It has built its reputation by advising on management buy-outs and buy-ins and acquisitions and disposals with an Enterprise Value of between £5 million to £50 million, while helping businesses secure growth and development
capital in its native North East and beyond. RGCF’s success has led to an increasing number of mandates from London and the Midlands for the firm.

Award-winning RGCF – part of Newcastle- based advisory firm Ryecroft Glenton (RG), which has earned an excellent reputation and client base to match over the course of its 100 year history – is well-placed for the future, with a strong and growing reputation, a talented and experienced team and a strategic client-centric approach which enables it to stand out from the crowd. Both RGCF and the wider firm enjoyed a record year during 2018, supporting its strategy to be the leading North East based advisory firm, delivering clear advice and strategic thinking.

RG partner and head of corporate finance, Carl Swansbury, who relocated to the North East in May 2011 to establish RGCF, believes the business is ideally-placed to take advantage of opportunities presented by Brexit, as FOREX movements mean acquiring a business in the UK is less costly now than it would have been around two years ago and an increasing number of international, listed businesses continue to consider the futures of their UK operations. One of the most recent transactions advised on by Carl and the team at RGCF was the MBO of the Washington-based Power Generation and Aerospace Solutions (PGAS) division from its multinational parent to create GadCap Technical Solutions Limited – a business whose future in the UK and the North East is now safeguarded.

“Undoubtedly, Brexit will cause some concerns around the future of international businesses and their UK interests, and it is probable it will create transactional activity as these multinationals consider divestments, allowing existing management teams the opportunity to take control. There will be UK subsidiaries, which may be unloved, non-core and underinvested, and that is where we can help. We do see this as being an area of growth for us, especially given the number of PE investors and debt funds in the market who are keen to support management teams in funding such transactions,” says Carl, who was recognised as the Dealmaker of the Year at the 2018 NE Insider Dealmakers Awards.

“Through the GadCap MBO, we have guaranteed that the business remains here in the North East and that all existing jobs are retained, with many more expected to be created over the coming months. RGCF secured the seven-figure funding package that the MBO team required to fund the transaction from London based Shard Credit Partners.

“By bringing in expertise from the wider firm, RG is able to deliver a ‘OutsourcedFD’ service to GadCap to support its future growth, providing the shareholders with strategic, financial and tax advice.”

RGCF, as one of RG’s six service lines, has made strong strides in the regional marketplace since
its formation almost eight years ago. Recognition in the form of awards has followed, with RGCF wining the Corporate Finance Deal of the Year Award at the North East Accountancy Awards in 2018 for its work in advising on the sale of a 75 per cent stake in tenant referencing platform Van Mildert to London based private equity house, Aldington Capital.

RGCF also takes great pride in helping its clients ‘improve the profitability, value and attractiveness’ of their businesses at all stages of their life cycle, using its Strategic Review toolkit, which often results in RGCF and the wider firm subsequently being retained to provide follow up advice on devising and executing growth strategies, accelerating growth via acquisition and succession planning.

Recalling the establishment of RGCF in 2011, Carl says: “At that time, the mergers and acquisitions marketplace was pretty bleak, and many firms were moving their CF teams into other areas like corporate recovery and audit and assurance. Very few firms were investing in their corporate finance capability and so RG’s decision to set up RGCF was a surprise to many. In our first year, we successfully advised on a number of high- profile transactions, and to this day, that trend has continued. We have clear coordinates for growth and the ambition, experience and focus to match.

“We have invested significantly over recent years by bringing into the firm the very best talent; our people are our greatest asset and are essential to our future success. By way of example, Nick Johnson, experienced corporate financier who spent several years working in Birmingham at Mazars, joined us in the winter of 2018 as corporate finance partner. Simon Whiteside, partner and head of business tax, who joined us
a year ago from EY is another-significant new appointment.”

The ambition of the business is clear and it is now contemplating establishing an office outside of the North East to help generate greater levels of work from the wider UK market.

“We have a lot of work coming from London and the Midlands that has built up over the past few years and continues to grow. Nick and I know those markets very well, and we see significant opportunity there. Opening an office in one of those areas is something we are considering as a future development, but of course we are a North East-based firm and will always be so,” says Carl.

“We attract a lot of business from clients around the UK and internationally to this region, and
we are often able to introduce other professionals from the North East, such as corporate lawyers, funders and other advisers, while we remain at

the nucleus of the relationship – which generates further inbound work. We are helping to showcase to large corporates and PE investors from London and around the world that there is a real breadth and depth of experience and knowledge in the North East and that there are many regional, credible alternatives to the Big Four.”

Some of the latest deals completed by RG Corporate Finance –

Advanced manufacturing:

Provision of corporate finance advice to the management team of GadCap Technical Solutions Limited on their management buy out (MBO) of the business from its overseas multinational parent.

Medical products:

Provision of independent corporate finance advice to the management team at Blatchford, in relation to a significant investment in the business by CBPE.

Cybersecurity software:

Provision of financial due diligence on behalf of alternative lender Thincats, which provided a term loan to facilitate the MBO of cybersecurity software provider, SentryBay Limited.

Energy consultancy:

Provision of corporate finance advice to the shareholders of Square One Enterprises Ltd, on sale of the business to AIM-listed Inspired Energy PLC.

Construction:

Provision of corporate finance advice to the shareholders of Gus Robinson Developments Limited on sale of the business to Thirteen Housing Group.

Ryecroft Glenton
www.ryecroftglenton.com

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