BLOG: Helping Build British Business
Maven now manages a range of client funds across the UK, enabling it to back more of the brightest and most innovative British SMEs. Steven Ford, Marketing Manager at Maven, discusses this increased investment capacity and how businesses of all sizes have benefitted from Maven’s active involvement.
As with many of the businesses we invest in, Maven has undergone a significant evolution in recent years’. This includes an extensive change to our overall funding parameters where our UK-wide investment team can now potentially invest anything from £50,000 up to £15 million of capital in a single transaction.
This expansion to our eligibility criteria now means that we are capable of supporting businesses which historically would have fallen out-with our typical funding ‘ecosystem’. Our team now supports businesses at varying stages of their growth cycle; from proven second-time entrepreneurs who require capital to get their new venture off the ground, through to highly profitable later-stage private companies with an enterprise value of up to £40 million. Our flexible finance solutions can be used to support numerous corporate funding requirements including MBOs and buy-and-build strategies, as well as the provision of acquisition finance, development capital and replacement capital.
The broadening in Maven’s transaction sizes has resulted in an increasingly diverse private equity portfolio, with our experienced team having invested in a range of businesses from small tech start-ups to major insurance brands like esure.
Regardless of the cheque size, at Maven our aim is to give all of our investees a stable platform for the continued growth of their business, in the knowledge that they have a supportive investor backing their development plans, while providing strategic and commercial expertise.
We commit to understanding not only the numbers, but also the commercial issues and other challenges facing portfolio companies. In each case we look to forge a strong working relationship with the investee management team.
Private equity investment is a shared journey, where results are optimised when there is alignment of interests and all parties have a common vision. Throughout our portfolio we have examples of this collaborative approach working to good effect. Below are case studies of four former Maven investees which have now been realised following a successful period of growth whilst part of our portfolio.
During the period of Maven’s investment Cash Bases established itself as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high quality cash management solutions, supplying global brands in the retail, finance and hospitality sectors, across more than 70 countries.
Maven executives worked closely with the senior management team to accelerate the company’s growth, by targeting new clients and specialist opportunities within the sector, and extending the product offering. Maven also supported the team in completing a key strategic acquisition which helped expand the business into new markets.
The business went on to secure a multi-million pound contract with Tesco for the integration of the ground breaking SMARTtill technology across the retailer’s entire estate (over 25,000) of UK cash tills, providing automated cash management and real-time monitoring of point-of-sale transactions, including an intelligent cash drawer system.
Maven clients first invested in Westway Services when it had a turnover of less than £10 million and employed 38 people from a single office location in West London. Westway provides an integrated range of technical building services on both planned and reactive maintenance contracts, covering both mechanical and electrical engineering services for infrastructure such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and electrical installations.
Working closely with Maven executives, the business achieved year-on-year revenue growth and established a track record of delivering a reliable and high level of customer service.
Maven invested a further £3.6 million in support of a secondary buy-out, in order to help the business capitalise on projected growth in the facilities management market, whilst also targeting geographical expansion within the UK. With Maven’s support, Westway significantly increased its footprint and widened its focus to include specialist technical engineering services that help customers to optimise the energy and operational performance of a building, and now serves a blue chip customer base across a range of sectors, including commercial offices, financial services, healthcare and retail.
At the time of Maven’s exit from Westway, annual turnover had reached £50 million, generating earnings of more than £5 million, and the business had grown to employ 535 people across its branch network in Ruislip, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, and Northampton.
Our experienced investment and portfolio executives have a wide range of professional and commercial backgrounds enabling us to work in close partnership with key executives in each of our investee companies. Maven doesn’t just provide financial support, but strategic and operational input as required, helping management to shape and achieve business goals.
Maven worked collaboratively with the senior management team at Crawford Scientific to execute a number of strategic initiatives, including the acquisition of Hall Analytical Laboratories. Crawford, a leading supplier of chromatography products and analytical services to the laboratory research and testing sectors, was then able to increase its global reach by entering new markets in the US, China and Europe, leveraging Hall’s reputation for pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and environmental analysis and more recently, e-cigarette testing.
The successful integration of these new analytical services alongside robust organic growth across its distribution and knowledge transfer divisions saw the business realise its true potential and value. During the period of Maven’s investment, turnover and headcount at Crawford both doubled and profitability almost trebled.
Maven devotes time to understanding the immediate and longer terms needs of a business, and tailors a flexible funding package suited to its specific needs and growth aspirations. This approach is no more evident than with Maven’s investment in SPS, a promotional product manufacturer and distributor, to support the organic growth of the business and an acquisition strategy.
Following Maven’s investment SPS achieved impressive growth, through a commitment to innovation, operational excellence and new product development. Maven also supported the SPS management team in identifying and completing two synergistic bolt-on acquisitions which significantly increased its product range and production capabilities.
When Maven exited the investment in SPS in December 2017, the business had established itself as the UK’s largest provider of promotional merchandise, supplying 2,000 independent distributors across Europe from its 90,000 ft2 manufacturing and storage facility, and employing over 300 staff.
Interested in learning more about how Maven Capital Partners could add value to your business? Click here to find out more about the flexible debt and equity funding options we offer.