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Browne Jacobson completes two back-to-back BGF investment deals

22 June 2015

Corporate finance lawyers at Browne Jacobson have helped complete two back-to-back Business Growth Fund investment deals involving East Midlands based business.

The first of the deals was BGF’s £7.5m investment in Loughborough based national van rental company LCV Hire Solutions Ltd, which trades under the “Reflex” brand.

The investment was led for BGF by Ian Downing, Paul Brindley and Joanne Smith. Browne Jacobson corporate finance partner Mark Hughes, assisted by corporate finance lawyer Christina O’Brien, advised BGF.

The investment will enable the business to continue with the expansions of its fleet of light-commercial vehicles and fleet cars and comprehensive client – centric products and services.

Acquired three years ago the company, which has grown its fleet by an additional 1000 vehicles in the last 12 months, currently has 3,500 vehicles in its fleet and aims to expand this to 10,000 over the next 5 years.

The second deal saw Mark Hughes again lead the Browne Jacobson team advising residential property services company Shepherd Direct Group on the £10m investment by BGF. Mark was assisted by Paul McCannah, Beth Dowson and Amy Browning.

The Nottingham-headquartered business, which specialises in lettings, property surveying and mortgage broking services, will use the funding for its organic growth strategy and the acquisition of a minority stake in Basildon-based Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions, a network of independent mortgage brokers. Shepherd Direct’s clients include HSBC, First Direct, Lloyds and Santander.

In 2013 Browne Jacobson advised the Group in acquiring the licensing rights to operate the globally renowned Century 21 estate agency and lettings brand throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Isle of Man. Century 21 is one of the world’s leading property brands with over 7,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices and 100,000 agents in 73 countries worldwide.

Mark Hughes, corporate finance partner, said:

“We are delighted to have advised on these important investments which will allow both businesses to take advantage of fresh growth opportunities in their chosen sectors.

“Shepherd Direct is a long standing client and we have been advising them on some of their most strategically important transactions for over a decade so we are delighted that they have the necessary investment in place now to continue with their ambitious expansion plans.

“In addition we have advised BGF on a number of deals since the fund was first launched four years ago which means we have a strong understanding of their aims and objectives in providing long term equity investment to well managed enterprises such as Reflex and Shepherd Direct and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

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