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£4.25m loan allows management buy-in of retail services firm

Ralph Coleman International, which turned over £15 million 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, including in Milton Keynes and Wellingborough.

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.   

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.”

This loan follows Caple’s first UK deal of £1.5 million with Baltimore Consulting, a specialist recruitment services company based in the West of England, in the summer.  It expects to complete £60 million 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, wich aims to provide €1 billion in funding across Europe and €400 million in the UK per year through its SME Alternative Financing platform. 

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 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. 

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