In 2007, Vision Capital LLP, an international private equity firm, purchased a portfolio of investments from Northern Foods plc. These included the UK's leading supplier of savoury pastry products; a leading private label supplier of a wide range of fresh and frozen bread and speciality bakery products; the leading UK private label producer of premium cakes and desserts and a flour mill. Vision Capital sought to finance the businesses separately, thus allowing greater flexibility in the future and facilitating individual exits for each of the businesses.
Vision Capital retained the services of Litmus Advisory Ltd, a leading asset based lending consultancy, to arrange the refinance and Credit Agricole Commercial Finance proved itself to be more than capable of meeting the demands and was selected to provide the funding for the companies.
Within a tight time-frame, Credit Agricole Commercial Finance structured and delivered three separate asset based lending deals: GBP17,000,000 for the pastry products supplier, GBP17,900,000 for the bakery company and GBP16,540,000 for the specialist cakes and desserts manufacturer.
Dave Edwards, Managing Director of Litmus, comments: "Credit Agricole Commercial Finance was prepared to be flexible, listened to what the clients wanted in each case and delivered on what they said they would. We were delighted with the high service levels and they did an excellent job."
Alister Wormsley, Managing Partner of Vision Capital, explains: "The comprehensive nature of Credit Agricole Commercial Finance's offer was very important, as obviously it's much easier for us to have one financier for all three companies. In addition, they were approachable and took the time to understand our businesses and their specific requirements. The combination of all these factors was very impressive."
"We are pleased with our decision. The team at Credit Agricole Commercial Finance have proved themselves to be responsive, commercial and customer-focussed bankers."
Jeff Longhurst, Managing Director of Credit Agricole Commercial Finance, concludes: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to support the group in the achievement of its strategic objectives and also to be able to demonstrate our capability and flexibility on this type of transaction."