Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance has completed a £20 million asset based lending (ABL) deal which enabled Smiths News plc to acquire book wholesaler Bertram Group, a former division of the Woolworths group.
Swindon-based Smiths News demerged from WH Smith Group in 2006 and has grown to become the UK’s largest newspaper and magazine distributor, delivering over 59 million publications to 23,000 customers every week.
It has acquired the business and assets of Bertram Group, a leading wholesaler of books to independent, online and multiple retailers. Formally a subsidiary of Woolworths, the company operates from a 180,000 square feet distribution centre in Norwich. The enlarged firm will have a combined turnover in excess of £1.2 billion and will employ over 4,500 people.
Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance developed a £20 million package of working capital facilities secured against the value of the business’ existing assets to fund the acquisition and increase stock availability post-transaction. Asset Based Lending comprises of Invoice Discounting & Asset Refinance