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£90m 'Club Deal' to Refinance EVO Business Supplies

Specialist asset-based lender, BZ has completed a £90m refinance of EVO Business Supplies (‘EVO’). The facility included a £9m structured term loan.

BZ led the structuring and financing of the substantial facility, working with club partner, Leumi ABL. The flexible asset-based lending deal will see EVO, the UK’s largest multi-channel distributor of business supplies and services with sales in excess of £450m, focus on driving further rapid growth.

EVO is a portfolio company of Endless, a transformational UK private equity investor. The business provides sourcing, storage, specialist and value-added fulfilment services to over 2,000 resellers, in addition to retailers, large public sector bodies and corporate organisations through its trading brands VOW and Banner. The product offering spans the full range of business critical supplies, from traditional office supplies to EOS, facilities supplies, technology, furniture and specialist consumables. EVO has recently added new infection control lines such as face masks, sanitising gel and gloves to its extensive product offering and has seen its online business expand significantly since the onset of the pandemic.

Andrew Gale, Group Finance Director, EVO Business Supplies Limited said: “The requirement to transact quickly is critical to EVO as we continually look to maximise strategic opportunities to drive scale. From our first meeting with BZ, the team’s credibility, professionalism and experience was evident and the process just flowed. Their short lines of communication, openness and transparency and the involvement of the wider team were refreshing and brought us confidence from the outset. They understood what we were looking to achieve and put a compelling offer and ‘club deal’ structure on the table that would provide both the optimal funding mix and the platform and capacity for EVO to support further organic growth and future acquisitions. In just a few months, we believe we have built the foundations for a strong, long-term partnership that will enable us to move forward and grow together.”

Andrew Ross, Partner, Endless LLP, said: “BZ responded positively with a deliverable ABL ‘club deal’ structure to ensure that EVO is appropriately capitalised to take maximum advantage of opportunities in its evolving marketplace. The additional headroom created by the combined facility will enable EVO’s management team to concentrate on further accelerating P&L growth and enterprise value in the medium term without constraint. The team at BZ was very straightforward to work with and having direct access to the decision makers and influencers, including their credit function, figured strongly in the successful completion of the deal.”

Commenting on the deal, Robert Wakeford, Managing Director, UK Sales at BZ, said: “We never forget that today businesses have many and diverse financing options available to them and we are delighted to have structured an innovative funding solution in support of EVO’s growth objectives. The business has a highly efficient operating model and has grown to be a market leader in each of its chosen market segments. We were excited to have the opportunity to lead this substantial transaction, which will allow the business to maximise opportunities for expansion within its £19bn addressable market.”

Ben Milner, Regional Business Development Director, BZ, commented: “The team at EVO Business Supplies is dedicated to the UK and Ireland office supplies market with a clear strategy and an uncompromising focus on the sector. It has been a pleasure to support the management team and Endless and we look forward to working closely with them as they take the business to a new level of growth.”

Legal advice was provided to BZ by Addleshaws. Collateral due diligence was provided by Hilco Valuation Services. Osborne Clark advised Leumi ABL and Walker Morris advised EVO Business Supplies on the transaction.

BZ offers structured, multi-jurisdictional ABL facilities from £10 million to £150 million that deliver working capital and corporate structuring solutions.