Caple supports cross-border acquisition for online vitamins retailer
SME credit fintech Caple has supported a cross-border acquisition with a seven-figure unsecured loan for UK online vitamins retailer Bigvits. The loan has enabled Bigvits to buy a majority stake in Netherlands-based health and supplements business By Nature to expand and develop its European footprint.
The combined business will increase revenues to £18m this year and expects to boost jobs by 20%.
Firms such as Bigvits find access to secured lending a challenge because their business is based on intangible assets, such as networks and data. Banks generally need tangible assets to put up as collateral for loans, so raising additional finance for growth was not open to them.
In addition, many high-street banks are not able to offer funding for SMEs purchasing an overseas business due to the complexity of the work involved compared with the size of the loan. As a European SME credit specialist based in the UK and the Netherlands, this is where Caple was able to help.
Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner of Caple, said: “Bigvits is an ambitious and growing international business. The firm needed a sophisticated cross-border loan to help it acquire an overseas business, expand its international footprint and grow. Our unsecured lending deals demonstrate how we can support successful SMEs with finance to support growth across borders despite Brexit.”
Yorkshire-based Bigvits is a fast-growing online retailer of premium vitamins and supplements. The company was acquired in 2018 by the current management team and has since tripled in size.
As an online retailer of health and supplement products across Europe, Bigvits has been working with By Nature for several years. The acquisition will bring new opportunities to both businesses while providing Bigvits with a strategic footprint in the EU given ongoing Brexit disruption.
Will Brennand, joint managing director of Bigvits, said: “It is a challenge to raise funds for an international deal during a pandemic. But Caple provided the flexibility and access to funding we needed to complete the acquisition. We are delighted with the acquisition and excited to build on By Nature’s success and grow our businesses together.”
Caple is the UK’s first firm to offer access to long-term unsecured funding of up to £5m based on the future cash flows of the SME. It requires no collateral or personal guarantees as security. The funding also works alongside existing secured financing, meaning firms can have access to more funding than they would get from their bank alone. It also allows them to maintain their existing financial relationship.
Caple’s technology platform supports a network of accountants and financial advisors to SMEs who identify suitable borrowers and prepare the loan application materials. This enables an efficient and robust credit process.
The funding Caple facilitates is part of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing direct lending platform, which enables SMEs to access funding from institutional investors.
Working capital facilities for the European group were provided by Floryn.