Head of Debt Advisory, London
London (2 October 2017) – AlixPartners, the global business advisory firm, announces that its debt advisory team has advised Be At One Limited (“Be At One” or the “group”), the market-leading UK cocktail bar group, on its refinancing and growth capital debt raising supported by Santander UK plc.
Following a competitive debt raising process managed by AlixPartners, Be At One secured senior debt facilities of GBP 20 million comprising term, capex and working capital facilities, from Santander UK Plc, acting through its Financial Sponsors London team, Structured Finance. Addleshaw Goddard acted as legal counsel to the group.
Toby Rolph, CFO of Be At One, commented: “We are delighted with the support we received from AlixPartners on this landmark project. Despite the backdrop of more challenging debt market conditions for the UK leisure sector in recent months, AlixPartners’ commitment to securing a competitive refinancing package, and their advice provided throughout the process, was first class. We are excited about the next chapter of growth for Be At One and the flexibility the new debt facilities provide us to achieve this.”
Since opening its first bar on Battersea Rise in 1998, Be At One has grown into the leading, nationwide cocktail specialist bar brand, operating 33 sites in the UK. The group has witnessed strong and uninterrupted revenue growth for more than a decade, delivered consistent like-for-like sales growth, and is well-positioned for continued expansion.
The conclusion of the refinancing process comes amid continued strong trading for the Be At One business, with like-for-like sales growth of 6.5% for the six months to the end of August 2017, versus the same period last year. Group EBITDA has grown strongly, to £5.5m (LTM), for the past 12 months on sales of £39m.
The group is majority owned by the three co-founders of the business, Steve Locke, Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller and Piper, the specialist investor in consumer brands. The co-founders continue to manage the business alongside Andrew Stones (COO) and Toby Rolph.
Jacco Brouwer, head of Debt Advisory for AlixPartners, commented: “We are delighted to have helped Be At One raise new senior debt facilities which will provide the Group with ample liquidity for continued expansion. This transaction further establishes our strong advisory position in the UK leisure market, alongside our general leveraged debt raising capabilities for private equity and corporate clients.”
Andrew Tully, Head of Origination, Santander Financial Sponsors, Structured Finance Group, commented: “Over the last 20 years, Be at One has built a strong brand of scale. We very much look forward to working together with the management team and Piper, as the business expands and increases its national footprint, through its next phase of growth.”
AlixPartners is a leading global business advisory firm of results-oriented professionals who specialize in creating value and restoring performance. We thrive on our ability to make a difference in high-impact situations and to deliver sustainable, bottom-line results. The firm’s expertise covers a wide range of businesses and industries whether they are healthy, challenged or distressed. Since 1981, we have taken a unique, small-team, action-oriented approach to helping corporate boards and management, law firms, investment banks, and investors to respond to crucial business issues. For more information, visit www.alixpartners.com.
About Santander UK
Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 31 December 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c20,000 employees and operates through 841 branches (which includes 60 university branches) and 67 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
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