Case study

How we have helped our clients: Shard Credit Partners

Gateley Legal

Shard Credit Partners is a leading provider of innovative capital solutions to entrepreneur and management-owned companies focused on achieving transformational growth and expansion.

In the past two years Shard Credit Partners has invested more than £100m in supporting regional management buy-out transactions and M&A buy-and-build acquisition strategies, as well as providing growth capital expenditure financing. The firm is one of the most active institutional investors in the Northern UK regions currently. Shard Credit Partners also has a strong environmental, social and governance focus – in particular, it is a strong supporter of female entrepreneurs and firms with meaningful female leadership and senior management.  

How did we help Shard Credit Partners?

In March 2020 we advised Shard Credit Partners on their completion of a £12m senior secured unitranche loan facility in support of the management buy-out of Jackson Lees Group Ltd (JLG) and to finance the buy-and-build acquisition strategy to be executed by the group. Founded in 2017 following the merger of Jackson Lees and Broudie Jackson Canter, JLG is an award-winning legal services firm in the North West of England. The company is renowned for its work in supporting families at the Hillsborough Inquest and Birmingham Pub Bombing Inquest and also worked with families on the Manchester Arena Bombing Inquiry. 

In June 2020 we advised Shard Credit Partners on its £10m increase facility to SKS Business Services Ltd, upsizing its original £10m committed acquisition facility to £20m. The first tranche of this new commitment was made in September to enable the buy-out of Bailey Group in Peterlee, County Durham to be completed.  

In November 2020 we advised Shard Credit Partners on its £4.5m increase facility to BW Legal Services Ltd, upsizing an existing £20m committed acquisition facility to £24.5m ahead of a new phase in investment for the borrower.

December 2020 saw us complete a hat-trick of deals for Shard Credit Partners. 

We advised on their first investment in Scotland with the completion of a £12m senior secured unitranche financing in support of a £15m management buy-in acquisition of JST Services (Scotland) Ltd (JST). Ayr-headquartered JST was founded in 1993 and is a market-leading port handling and logistics company operating throughout the UK and Ireland. The management buy-in was led by new CEO Richard Jennings and Jersey-based port sector investor, Independent Port Capital Management Ltd. The funds will enable JST to expand its core offering via a series on bolt-on acquisitions.

Following on from the JST deal, we next advised on £12m acquisition financing to support a management buy-out of eQuality Solutions Ltd (eQS). Founded in 2006, Hebburn-based eQS is one of the largest assistive technology and training providers in the UK. The business provides assistive technology equipment, training and software solutions that help to remove barriers to learning for students who have cognitive disabilities. The management buy-out was led by current CEO Andy Gough and his senior management team. The team intend to use the investment from Shard Credit Partners to embark on an ambitious buy-and-build acquisition strategy in the fragmented assistive educational technology, software and training sector. 

We then finished off the year with the management buy-out of Chameleon Technology via £12.5m acquisition financing. Chameleon Technology is the leading provider of in-home displays for smart meters in the UK, with an approximate 60% market share. The funds will enable the business to capitalise on a supportive regulatory landscape and to accelerate product development in line with the UK’s strategy to lower energy consumption – the digitalisation of in-home energy solutions plays a crucial part in this. 

Thanks for the professional support of the entire Gateley team across all of the transactions that were worked on this year. Great support as ever.
Alastair Brown, CEO and Head of Direct Lending, Shard Credit Partners

Looking back on our relationship with Shard Credit Partners

We have closed a number of new lending transactions for Shard Credit Partners in the last 24 months, as well as providing them with ongoing portfolio support. Shard Credit Partners’ investment and support to their SME clients will enable each business to grow, develop their product offering and take advantage of new opportunities.

Alastair Brown, CEO and Head of Direct Lending at Shard Credit Partners commented: “Thanks for the professional support of the entire Gateley team across all of the transactions that were worked on this year. Great support as ever”.

Banking & finance partner, Andrew Madden, commented: “It’s a real achievement to complete so many deals for Shard Credit Partners in such quick succession. All of these businesses will benefit from their financial backing and we hope to continue to support Shard Credit Partners as it looks to launch its second UK direct lending fund in the second half of 2021.”

Gateley Plc is authorised and regulated by the SRA (Solicitors' Regulation Authority). Please visit the SRA website for details of the professional conduct rules which Gateley Legal must comply with.

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