Endless partners with Banks to refinance Vasanta Group

Endless LLP (‘Endless’ or the ‘Firm’), the UK turnaround fund, has partnered with a syndicate of banks to refinance Vasanta Group Limited (‘Vasanta’ or the ‘Group’), the £500 million-turnover office supplies company that employs 1,500 people around the UK.

The Group, which is headquartered in Sheffield, has received £30 million of new investment and had its debt burden significantly reduced. The Group, advised by Deloitte Corporate Finance, acted to secure additional funding after it encountered difficulties arising from a significant withdrawal of credit insurance in the first half of 2009, its high level of debt and a challenging market environment.

Endless has injected the majority of the new facilities having made the investment less than three weeks after the firm was first approached by Deloitte, which has been advising Vasanta and also Endless on this accelerated refinancing and financial restructuring.

Mathew Deering of Endless, who worked on the deal alongside fellow Director Chris Clegg, said: “This is an important transaction as it preserves a substantial, established business in the region. Vasanta’s customers and suppliers have an important role to play in the turnaround and we will work with them to ensure the Group is well placed for an improvement in conditions.”

Garry Wilson, Managing Partner of Endless said: “Endless exists to provide fundamentally good companies requiring financial or operational restructuring with new funds and hands-on support, and we do this quickly. This deal proves that there is equity and bank investment available to UK companies at this time.”

The transaction protects Vasanta’s position as a leading supplier of office products in the UK and Ireland, sustains a major employer in Yorkshire and elsewhere in the UK and safeguards the businesses of many Vasanta suppliers and customers. The deal also preserves the Group’s Vow, Supplies Team and ISA Retail brands.

Martin Jenkins, partner and head of corporate finance at Deloitte in Leeds said: “This transaction brings to a close a very difficult and uncertain time for Vasanta. Great credit is due to everyone involved for completing such a complex refinancing in record time.”

Richard Martin, CEO of Vasanta, said: “I would once again like to thank our customers, employees, suppliers and others in our industry, who have continued to provide overwhelming support and loyalty to us, particularly over the last few days. It is now our job to do our utmost to live up to this, and I am confident that we are now well-placed to do so.”

Steve Ellis, a Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which advised the banking syndicate, added: "The restructuring provides a solution to a balance sheet that was over-leveraged at the top of the M&A market."

Endless was advised by Deloitte and Walker Morris. Vasanta was advised by Deloitte and DLA. The banking syndicate, which includes The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Alliance & Leicester, was advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Linklaters.