Caple, in strategic partnership with BNP Paribas Asset Management, has completed a £4.25m unsecured loan to Ralph Coleman International, a retail services business.
This loan follows Caple’s first UK deal of £1.5m with Baltimore Consulting, a specialist recruitment services company based in the West of England, in the summer.
Caple, the alternative SME credit specialist, expects to complete another £5m in deals before the end of the month. It also expects to complete £60m of its current pipeline before year-end.
The loans are part of the beginning of the European direct lending programme by BNP Paribas Asset Management. BNP Paribas Asset Management has the ambition to provide €1bn in funding across Europe and €400m in the UK per year through its SME Alternative Financing platform.
The SME Alternative Financing platform enables institutional investors to access the SME loan market.
Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner of Caple, said: “Ten years after the financial crash, it is still difficult for SMEs to raise debt finance for growth or management succession. This is because banks can generally fund an amount that reflects the assets in the business and if a business has no further assets, banks can’t help.
“In a service-based economy such as the UK, this can create a barrier to growth and may push some businesses to issue equity instead of raising debt.
“Caple is a first in the UK in being able to offer SMEs long-term flexible debt finance between £500,000 and £5m based on the future cash flows of the business. Therefore we require no collateral or personal guarantee as security. Finance is complementary to the businesses’ existing bank facilities.”
Ralph Coleman International, which turned over £15m in the year to March 2017, provides washing, storage, haulage and repair of plastic trays in the retail food sector.
It operates from five sites in the centre of the UK motorway network in Nuneaton, Wellingborough, Warrington, Milton Keynes and Bracknell.
The funding enables a management buy-in and gives the new leadership team the control they need to drive the business’s next phase of growth.
Caple originates loans through a local partner network of accountancy and business advisory firms. WK Corporate Finance, an M&A advisory and transaction services business, advised Ralph Coleman International on the deal.
Paul Hampton, director at Ralph Coleman International, said: “We’re delighted to complete this deal with Caple and secure the funding we need to grow the business.
“We were attracted to Caple because of the unsecured debt finance it provides access to, which is very unusual for a deal of this size and scale.
“WK Corporate Finance were also a great help, building the initial deal proposal and ensuring the process ran as smoothly as possible.”
Caple has built a proprietary technology platform that supports an end-to-end credit process. This combines the origination by the local partner networks of accountancy and business advisory firms with an initial credit assessment by its credit analysis teams.
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