NorthEdge Capital, the private equity firm focused on investing in businesses in the North of England, has backed Ramsdens Financial Limited (Ramsdens), the UK’s largest independent pawnbroker.
Founded in 1987 in Stockton-on-Tees, Ramsdens is a recognised and respected high street retailer of financial services, with 450 employees and more than 120 branches across North East England, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales. The business has set itself apart in the marketplace as a result of its focus on developing long-term customer relationships, its differentiated offering and ability to successfully add other service lines, such as foreign exchange, which provide customers with great service and a great deal.
The investment from NorthEdge will allow the business to further develop its store portfolio, expand and grow its core products, and continue to provide customers with excellent service.
Ramsdens was included in The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 for the fourth time this year, listed at No. 70 following an average profit increase of 53% over the last three years. The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 ranks companies with the fastest growing profits based on the last three years of available accounts.
Andy Ball, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at NorthEdge Capital, Director James Hall and Investment Director Tom Rowley led the deal. Andy and James join the Board as Non-Executive Directors.
Experienced Non-Executive Director, Andy Meehan, also joins the Board. Andy has over 25 years’ experience in the retail and consumer product sectors. Since 2006, he has been Chairman of a number of private equity-backed companies including GHD, American Golf and St Tropez, and was previously Finance Director at Selfridges & Co.
Peter Kenyon, Chief Executive of Ramsdens, said: “Andy and James of NorthEdge have been easy and straightforward to deal with from the outset. They both understand what Ramsdens is trying to achieve and how we meet the needs of our customers. We look forward to taking Ramsdens on to the next stage of its development as we see good growth potential in our target markets.”
James Hall, Director at NorthEdge Capital, said: “Ramsdens has a strong position in a niche and exciting part of the financial services market. It has doubled its store portfolio over the last three years, which provides the business with a robust platform from which it will continue to grow through its focus on transparency and excellent reputation.
“We join the company at a particularly exciting time. Increasing regulation in the marketplace is opening up new opportunities, while driving standards and practices ever higher, which is good news for Ramsdens. We look forward to working alongside the management team to drive the further growth of the business.”
The deal is the eighth transaction completed by NorthEdge Capital from its maiden fund, which closed at £225million in March 2013, and represents over £100million of investment into the Northern business community during the last 18 months.
Muckle LLP (Craig Swinhoe, Matthew Walsh and Amy Wanless) provided legal advice to NorthEdge Capital.
EY provided corporate finance advice to NorthEdge (Mark Clephan and Mark Day). KPMG advised on tax structuring (Steve Heath).
Grant Thornton completed financial due diligence (Will Oxley and Andrew Baldwin). OC&C completed commercial due diligence (David Hosein and Nigel Stirk).
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