Fri. Feb 21st, 2020

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Founded in 1895, the world's first trade magazine covering the automotive industry

ThinCats, the leading alternative lender to mid-sized SMEs has facilitated a 7-figure loan to Innovative Repair Group (iRG).

ThinCats is an established alternative lender dedicated to funding SMEs with business loans up to £15m using pioneering data, personal relationships and a pragmatic lending process. ThinCats’ progressive approach has already enabled SMEs to borrow more than £600m. www.thincats.com
ThinCats- iRG-Lexington-Corporate-Freeth-Hugh-James

Based in Cardiff and with a geographical footprint across South Wales, Bristol and Hereford*, iRG is the seventh largest independent network of accident repair centres for motor vehicles in the UK. Since 1999, their body shops have worked alongside some of the UK’s leading car manufacturers, insurers and accident management companies, carrying out repairs on all makes and models and light commercial vehicles.


 

Employing more than 270 team members across their 11 sites, the funding has supported the future succession planning for the business and enabled the founder Stephen Peart to exit the business. The deal was led by the experienced Senior Management Team which includes Lee Wallbank (Managing Director), Daniel Lewis (Head of Finance), Phil Dawson (Head of Compliance and HR) and Joseph Moore (Head of Commercial) with advice from Lexington Corporate Finance.

 

Alison Whistance headed up the funding team at ThinCats, working closely with lead advisor Thomas Edwards at Lexington Corporate Finance with the legals led by Ben Moylan at Freeths banking team in Bristol and Gemma Davies at Hugh James in Cardiff, who advised Management.

 

Lee Wallbank, Managing Director, Innovative Repair Group: “We’re delighted to secure this deal with ThinCats. For more than 20 years, the business has grown a strong and trusted relationship with car manufacturers and insurers. Working with blue chip companies such as Admiral, Direct Line, LV and Vizion means we’ve been able to build strong organic growth, in addition to a number of acquisitions in recent years. We’re looking forward to a strong start to 2020 and would like to thank everyone involved with us in this journey. A special mention and a huge thank you to Steve Peart for allowing us the opportunity to build on his legacy.”

 

Thomas Edwards, Director, Lexington Corporate Finance: “We are delighted to have advised the Management Team on this transaction. iRG is an excellent business with a great customer base and strong reputation in the market place. We worked closely with the Management Team to refine its business plan and projections and structure a funding package that allowed them to facilitate the MBO whilst also allowing the business to continue along its current growth trajectory”

 

Alison Whistance, Regional Business Development Manager, ThinCats: “iRG is a fantastic South Wales business and I’m delighted to support the new management team at this exciting juncture. Look under the bonnet and you see a business with strong historic growth, a great team with a wealth of experience and key skills as well as excellent partnerships. They are well positioned in the market and continue to use technology to improve the customer experience and help develop innovative solutions to improve efficiency and turnaround times for their customers”.

 

ThinCats were introduced to iRG by Lexington Corporate Finance. Law firms Freeths and Hugh James provided legal support for the deal.

 

Notes to readers:

 

*IRG currently has sites in Cardiff, Pontypridd, Swansea, Hereford, Bridgend, Merthyr, Bristol, Newport, Whitland, Rhondda.

 

ThinCats is an established alternative lender dedicated to funding SMEs with business loans up to £15m using pioneering data, personal relationships and a pragmatic lending process. ThinCats’ progressive approach has already enabled SMEs to borrow more than £600m. www.thincats.com

 

ThinCats’ proprietary risk model is based on 25 years of SME data and establishes the credit worthiness of a borrower combined with the security available under the loan to establish potential recovery values.

 

ThinCats is the trading name of a group of companies owned by ESF Capital Limited.

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AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES

Founded in 1895, the world's first trade magazine covering the automotive industry.