A round up of news from the region’s financial sector in the past week
* Finance firm makes Brazil move
A Midland finance firm has moved to capitalise on the increasing deal flow between the UK and Latin America by creating a dedicated Brazil desk.
Catalyst Corporate Finance hopes to boost income from the emerging economy through the new desk, established alongside its Brazilian partner firm BroadSpan Capital.
Through regular bi-lateral visits, access to conference facilities and a telephone hotline, the Brazilian desk will offer a personalised service to corporates, owners and entrepreneurs looking to access the fast-growing Brazilian market.
Partner Mark Wilson, who will head up the Brazil desk in the UK, said: “Using our local knowledge we will provide acquisition searches, advice on structuring and completing deals in Brazil, information on sector trends and valuations and access to corporate decision-makers and owners.
“This is a very exciting time to be involved in a country whose economy is growing rapidly and is experiencing a massive expansion in consumer spending power. The 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games will also give rise to further investment opportunities.”
Brazil is now the seventh largest economy in the world and is of core strategic importance to FTSE 100 companies, who are using mergers and acquisitions, to enter and consolidate their respective positions.
Catalyst will shortly be publishing a country report on Brazil which outlines its future importance and the investment opportunities available to UK businesses.
* Accountants support jobs boost
Accountants have helped a Midland demolition specialist has created new jobs in Birmingham with the launch of a new arm of the business.
Great Barr-based Coleman & Company has invested £500,000 in its new specialist cutting division and has expanded with support from business advisors and accountants Chantrey Vellacott DFK.
The expansion has led to the creation of 11 new jobs while the firm, which will celebrate 50 years of trading in 2012, is also taking on new trainees and investing in green technology.
Coleman & Company group chairman David Coleman said the concrete cutting arm of the business, which is headed up by Chris Eaton, was born out of its work on phase one of the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station.
“This is an exciting new venture for the group and stems from the project at New Street Station,” he said.
“The job is obviously very complex and in contrast to many of the full demolition projects we work on involves us cutting away a lot of materials, 99 per cent of which can be recycled.
“The project is going extremely well, and rather than using contractors to carry out the concrete cutting side of the work, we decided the time was right to diversify into this new area.”
Bill Devitt, partner at Chantrey Vellacott DFK’s Birmingham office on Calthorpe Road, has worked closely with Coleman and finance director Lesley Morris over the last four years and said the business is well positioned to grow even further.
“Coleman & Company is a shining example of a business which has built solid foundations in the Midlands and expanded when the time was right for the business,” he said.
“The company has operations running across the country and now employs close to 150 people and is well placed to build on this growth with the launch of the concrete cutting arm of the business.”
* Totney recruits new man at finance firm
Positive Cashflow Finance has appointed Paul Varley as regional sales director to its recently launched Birmingham office, as it bids to become the leading independent invoice finance provider in the Midlands.
Mr Varley has been reunited with Positive’s regional managing director David Totney to lead the firm’s sales team in the Midlands.
He worked under Mr Totney during his time at independent factoring business Liquidity and subsequently as director of new business at Santander Invoice Finance.
Mr Varley held roles as client manager at HSBC Invoice Finance and business banking manager at Lloyds TSB.
Positive provides flexible finance of up to £1 million for companies with a turnover of £100,000 to £10 million.
It supports businesses with cashflow difficulties and assists in funding buyouts, acquisitions and supplies working capital to pursue growth plans.
David Totney, regional managing director at Positive in the Midlands, said: “It is great to have Paul on board to drive forward our offering in the Midlands. We have had a fantastic response since our launch and look forward to cementing our position in the Midlands business community.”
Mr Varley added: “I am excited and enthused by the opportunity to offer flexible working capital solutions to support local businesses and to be working alongside David again.
“In addition I am delighted to be joining a successful business such as Positive’s and relishing the opportunity of opening the Birmingham office, right at the start of the firm’s expansion into the Midlands.”
* Accountants bring in two new recruits
Birmingham-based chartered accountantcy firm JW Hinks have welcomed two new recruits.
The Edgbaston firm have taken on two trainees – Dylan McLoughlin and Sonam Lall.
Mr McLoughlin, aged 18, from Stetchford, is swapping football for finance, after completing a BTEC in sport at Birmingham City’s development scheme, as he plays for Birmingham Irish in the Birmingham AFA League.
He said: “I’m looking forward to completing my AAT qualifications, and then moving onto a professional qualification which I hope will be in the not so distant future.”
Ms Lall joined JW Hinks in September after graduating from the University of Liverpool with a degree in politics and international business.
She has begun studying for the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) qualification, so far undertaking modules in accounting, assurance, tax and business finance.
“So far it has been a challenging yet enjoyable experience and am looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities that will come my way throughout the course of studying at J.W Hinks,” she said.
Partner Robin Barnes said: “I’d like to welcome Dylan and Sonam to the firm.
“They are both excellent trainees with outstanding potential, we are confident that they will go on to become successful accountants.”
* Another manufacturing investment for LDC
Private equity provider LDC has completed the management buy-out of Leicestershire-based manufacturer Benson Group.
Benson is one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of printed folding carton and sleeve packaging and the investment is the second transaction completed by the LDC Midlands team this month using capital from its £200 million manufacturing and specialist engineering commitment.
Originally established in the 1920s by the Benson family, Benson Group has been led by existing managing director Mark Kerridge since 2002 and has grown considerably in recent years following a mix of strategic acquisitions, organic growth and substantial investment into all of its manufacturing facilities.
LDC’s investment facilitates the exit of the two principal Benson family shareholders from the business and will help to support the management team’s growth strategy.
Benson Group employs more than 900 staff and operates from its head office in Bardon in Leicestershire, as well as strategically located manufacturing sites in Newcastle, Gateshead and Crewe.
The deal was led by investment director Andy Grove, together with Matthew Norrington. Andy Grove and Martin Draper, LDC’s UK new business managing director, will both join the board with immediate effect.
Mr Kerridge said: “LDC’s investment and support for Benson Group will help the company realise our growth ambitions.
“It will further strengthen our market leading position, provide a foundation for future growth, and ensure that we maintain a high quality service for our customers.”
Mr Grove added: “In Benson Group, we are partnering with a high-quality management team and a market-leading business which has a strong platform from which to generate further growth. Going forward, we will work closely with the business to identify acquisition opportunities in order to help accelerate growth.
“This deal represents the eigth transaction completed by LDC’s Midlands’ team in 2011 and confirms our long term commitment to supporting regionally based mid-market businesses with ambitious growth plans.”
Stephen Kitts at Eversheds acted as legal adviser to LDC.
Benson Group shareholders and management team were advised by Mustafa Abdulhusein of Grant Thornton, with legal advice provided by Chris Garnett and Sanjeev Sharma of Shoosmiths.