Mobeus has sold its interest in Advantedge Commercial Finance (“Advantedge”, formerly known as “Factor 21”), a provider of invoice finance facilities, to eCapital Corp. (“eCapital”), a US based provider of alternative financial solutions to businesses. The transaction (for an undisclosed sum) is the first full exit from Mobeus Equity Partners Fund IV, and comes just over three years from final close in August 2017.
Advantedge is a leading privately owned provider of invoice finance to UK SMEs looking to access fast, flexible and straightforward funding for growth and working capital. Since the Mobeus-backed MBO in November 2016, the business has grown strongly, with revenues growing 2.4x and EBITDA doubling over the period.
With Mobeus’s support, Advantedge secured a substantially increased £100m wholesale, syndicated funding line to support its ambitious growth plans; completed a rebrand; launched two new offices, in Scotland and the Midlands; and acquired Henry Howard Cashflow Finance, which saw the business take on a new presence in Wales and the South West region. Advantedge’s five offices now form the footprint for a national business that is poised for significant further growth.
eCapital is a leading North American alternative finance provider providing small and mid-size businesses with the working capital they need for growth. The company offers a full suite of services including factoring and asset-based lending. Established in 2006, eCapital is pursuing a buy-and-build strategy targeting providers of trade finance solutions to SMEs. To date, eCapital has acquired six U.S. or Canada-based businesses, with Advantedge being its first European acquisition.
Guy Blackburn, Mobeus Portfolio Partner, commented:
“From Mobeus’s first meeting with Advantedge, we saw great potential in the team and their plans. This, combined with our understanding of the complexities of the SME lending industry, meant we saw a clear opportunity at Advantedge. Bringing together our experience with the team’s drive, clear strategy and ambition has led to a great result for everyone involved. Together we have delivered ambitious growth plans and we have every confidence the business will continue to flourish as part of a larger, international organisation.”
Marius Silvasan, CEO of eCapital, said:
“Having investigated opportunities in the UK for a number of years, we recognised Advantedge as a great target platform acquisition for eCapital and we are delighted to have completed this transaction. We look forward to supporting David and the rest of the team as they continue to grow the company.”
The shareholders of Advantedge were advised by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, PDT Solicitors and Trowers & Hamlins.
Anurag Verma, Managing Director at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, commented:
“We are proud to have supported the shareholders through this transaction. We congratulate all parties involved and look forward to watching the business continue its impressive growth journey under eCapital’s ownership. This is KBW’s 12th completed European financial services sector M&A transaction in 2020, which demonstrates the continued ability for high quality businesses such as Advantedge to attract strong market interest, despite the macroeconomic challenges of the ongoing pandemic.”
“Mobeus was unique amongst the private equity firms we met in being able to both immediately grasp the key technical dynamics of our sector, whilst at the same time bringing their significant expertise in supporting and growing SME businesses – a winning combination. This milestone enables us to continue our rapid growth trajectory and the whole team here is very excited about what it means, not only for the business but also for our clients.”David Tilling, CEO of Advantedge