ThinCats, the leading fintech lender, has successfully facilitated a management buy-out (MBO) for KBC, the leading travel marketing and PR firm. The MBO will enable senior management to have a controlling stake in the company.
Based in Uckfield, East Sussex, KBC provides a range of services that range from public relations, advertising and marketing to brand consultancy. A highly regarded Tourism PR and representation agency, KBC has established relationships with UK travel and leisure media, tour operators and the wider travel industry, driving successful brand and campaign strategies for their clients.
Working with some of the world’s biggest and best tourism destinations and travel companies, KBC has led campaigns for a variety of global clients including: ‘Destination British Columbia’, the Florida Keys and ‘Utah Office of Tourism’. As a local mid-sized firm, KBC has firmly established its brand on the global stage.
In late 2018 when the owners of KBC were looking to take a step back from the business, the senior management team needed to act quickly. In order to secure business continuity for the staff, and to prevent the company from being bought-out by a third party, the senior management turned to their financial advisers for assistance.
After approaching mainstream lenders who only offered bricks-and-mortar lending schemes, KBC’s finance team sought out alternatives. After narrowing down the list of possible lenders, Melanie Richardson, of Swindells Accounting got in contact with Andrew Tapsell, the regional business development director for ThinCats. After impressing the financial advisers within the firm with his initial proposal, Andrew was invited to draft a deal.
After quickly familiarising himself with the business and its objectives, Andrew led the ThinCats team to provide a flexible funding scheme for KBC management in a timely manner, enabling the management to realise their goal of obtaining 80% of the business.
Chris Woodbridge-Cox, managing director of KBC, said: “Our collective decision with the owners to facilitate this management buy-out will ensure business continuity for our staff. This funding was crucial for us, and now with skin in the game, the managing staff are ready to continue our global growth. From the beginning, Andrew impressed us with his willingness to get to know the business personally and provide a solution that was flexible and timely.”
Andrew said: “With the support from local businesses as our greatest endorsement, alternative finance providers continue to prove that we can plug the funding gap for local businesses. We look forward to watching KBC continue to grow under new management.”