BZ has recently supported the acquisition of Oak Furnitureland with substantial new funding, backing the management’s business plan to secure the retailer’s future and save 1,500 jobs.
The asset-based lending facility, totalling £25m for an initial term of 18 months, comprised a £20m inventory line and £5m cash flow loan. An investor bought out the furniture retailer via a pre-pack administration deal following a sale process undertaken by Deloitte. The new facility has enabled the business to retain all of its staff, open its showrooms in line with government guidelines – and drive forward on a stronger financial footing.
Russell Gilling, Managing Director, BZ revisited the business three months on, to talk with the management team.
Alex Fisher, CEO at Oak Furnitureland Group Limited, said:
“If I reflect upon how we were feeling in March, when the prospect of finding solvent investment was incredibly challenging, things couldn’t be more different today. With the new facility from BZ, the company has a strong liquidity position and is trading positively, buoyed by a strong post-Covid bounce. The combination of a strong brand, synonymous with quality, pent up consumer demand and a notable switch to investment in the home has brought sales to above forecasted levels.”
He continued: “We strongly appreciate all of the support we have received. BZ’s commitment has been a huge factor in the delivery of this transaction. They worked all hours to get the deal done, during a period of intense challenge and change. Right from the outset, their team has been available 24/7 to ensure the successful completion of this deal.
“Fast forward to today and we are excited about the opportunities ahead. Our like-for-like growth in our core market remains strong and we continue to increase sales and market share in the upholstery category.”
Duncan Calverley, Chief Restructuring Officer at Oak Furnitureland Group Limited, commented:
“BZ has assembled a market-leading ABL team with the ability, experience and flexibility to put appropriate deals in place quickly and with the minimum of fuss. I’ve worked with BZ twice now on challenging deals and they are first rate. I recommend them highly.”
Russell Gilling, Managing Director, BZ added:
“Oak Furnitureland is an excellent business with a highly experienced management team, strong brand, loyal customer base and an omni-channel retail presence. We were delighted to work with the management team, Deloitte, the investment team and their advisers to make this deal a reality. We are proud at the part we have played in securing this deal during Covid conditions, working from home offices and dining rooms to deliver the significant level of funding that was required in time for the showrooms to open and critically, safeguarding vital jobs. We are pleased to play our part in ensuring that Oak Furnitureland can go forward with the strong foundation for future growth that the business strongly deserves.”
BZ offers structured, multi-jurisdictional ABL facilities from £10 million to £150 million that deliver working capital and corporate structuring solutions.