At the double

BHP Corporate Finance’s role involved arranging a £13.5 million funding package from Shard Credit Partners (“Shard”) who were exclusive financier to the transactions. The two side-by-side MBOs were led by Rachael Withers, COO and co-founder of both businesses, supported by Shard who committed senior secured unitranche facilities to complete the two deals. The innovative financing structure has enabled the simultaneous refinancing, recapitalisation and shareholder re-organisation of the Group, whilst also providing committed acquisition firepower to grow the businesses.

BWL was founded in 2009 by Rachael Withers and Sean Barton and is the UK’s largest independent law firm specialising in debt recovery services. The Group, based in Leeds, employs around 250 staff and acts as a one-stop-shop for high volume debt collection and litigation. Clients range from established sectors such as debt purchasers, financial services, private parking, commercial and energy. PRAC is an FCA regulated debt purchase vehicle that acquires portfolios of non-performing consumer and commercial debt.

Withers is one of the first ever non-lawyer owners of a debt recovery and litigation law firm.  She has been responsible for running some of the largest collection and litigation projects in both the commercial and consumer credit environments. Once such project represented one of largest insolvency collect-outs in British corporate history for the administrators on Entertainment UK, a group company of Woolworth Group that had syndicated lenders funding aged debtors with a value in excess of £360 million at the time of administration.

Andy Haigh, Partner at BHP Corporate Finance commented: “We are really pleased to have worked with Rachael and the companies to assist in the delivery of these significant transactions. Rachael came to us with a complex funding requirement which was required to support the future growth of the BW Legal group and execute the transactions. We are delighted to have delivered on this for her. Rachael has built a fantastic platform in the debt recovery sector and in Shard Credit Partners, the business has a supportive partner with whom it can move forward with the next phase of its development.”

This is the first of two transactions that Andy has led and completed during February 2019. The whole team has also had an extremely busy start to 2019 and we look forward to bringing you news of our other completed deals very soon.

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