Winner: GE Capital Commercial Finance
Highly commended: Bank of America Business Credit
Highly commended: Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance
In judging the asset-based finance provider of the year category, the benchmarks placed under consideration included how much has a firm’s involvement in backing deals in the private equity arena had grown in the last year. Growth was assessed both in terms of activity and additions to personnel. Also, how many deals were undertaken, combined deal values and if those deals included any interesting features.
As the winner GE Capital Commercial Finance saw a 64 per cent growth in deal numbers and 109 per cent growth in combined deal value in 2000. Headquartered in Tunbridge Wells, England, GE Capital Commercial Finance has its team spread across a further eight cities in the UK: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester and Reading.
Deals in 2000 included the undisclosed funding of Hicks Muse Tate & Furst’s exit of the Daylay Foods business, which was sold to Deans Food Group in January. The Daylay Foods poultry business was part of the Hillsdown business bought by Hicks Muse Tate & Furst in 1998. 2000, for GE Capital Commercial Finance, also included the provision of commercial invoice and discounting facility and plant and equipment loads for the £2.3 million management buyout of Ex-Press Plastics in September. IFG Mezzanine backed the transaction by providing a £700,000 mezzanine loan and subscribing for a 27.5 per cent stake in the business which was bought out of Low & Bonar, which in turn had bought the business from its founder in 1995.
In the highly commended category, and winner of evcj’s 1999 asset-based provider of the year award, is Bank of America Business Credit. The team oversaw deals such as the acquisition of the Dutch subsidiary of Strategic Industries Inc, FSM, which was acquired and funded as part of the larger $175 million Strategic Industries debt facility. Lead on the private equity side of the transaction was Citicorp Venture Capital.
Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, with 12 UK offices, is also awarded highly commended status. This team saw a 45 per cent increase in activity on the previous year. Backing of the private equity industry included deals such as that for Birmingham-based manufacturer of engineering laminated plastics Tufnol Ltd, this involved the management buyout by Tufnol Holding Limited for an undisclosed sum. Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance arranged combination finance of a property loan and invoice discounting facilities for UK and overseas sales. Invex Partners was the equity lead on this deal.