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Inspired Capital In Financing With Joe Lewis Vehicle Ahead Of Takeover

Thu, 30th Jul 2015 15:57


LONDON (Alliance News) - Inspired Capital PLC on Thursday agreed a GBP10.5 million debt finance facility with its acquirer, a vehicle owned by billionaire investor Joe Lewis, in a move that generates the finance to repay existing debt with a selling shareholder and grow its loan book.

Lewis swooped for Inspired Capital, an AIM-listed finance provider to smaller businesses in the UK, on June 15 with a public offer valuing the company at GBP43.8 million, equivalent to 20 pence per share, making a hostile bid direct to shareholders after the board "refused to engage" with a privately communicated proposal made in May.

Bentley Park (UK) Ltd, the vehicle through which Lewis wants to make the acquisition, then increased the offer on July 9 to value the company at GBP47.1 million, or 21.5 pence per share, and Inspired's board accepted it.

Lewis, who is renowned for owning Tavistock Group, the private investment organisation headquartered in the Bahamas, already owned a 17.1% stake in Inspired Capital. The offer to buy the rest of the company is already unconditional, with the buyer either owning or having received acceptances over shares equivalent to a 93.11% stake as of Monday this week.

The new financing will be used to pay GBP7.5 million to two funds managed by entities owned by FTSE 250 fund manager Henderson Group, covering the amount of money borrowed plus interest. Henderson was previously the single biggest shareholder in Inspired, with a 26.6% stake in the company.

The Bentley Park debt finance facility is not secured on Inspired Capital's assets, according to the statement, and will charge 5% in interest every year.

Inspired Capital is now waiting to be de-listed from AIM and officially mark the end of its life as a listed company.

The company will join Joe Lewis's collection of investments, which include North London football club Tottenham Hotspur Ltd and a 26.65% stake in FTSE 250 pub chain Mitchells & Butlers.

Ron Robson, a non-executive director at Tottenham, the deputy chairman of Mitchells & Butlers, and a managing director of Tavistock Group, will become the chief executive of Inspired Capital. David Craven, who leads Tavistock-owned Timeweave Ltd - the owner of a 25.31% stake in AIM-listed DCD Media PLC, which employs him as its executive chairman - will become the chairman of Inspired Capital.

Jeremy Coombes, an existing board member and the leader of Inspired's Ultimate Finance Group, will become Inspired's chief operating officer.

The first approach about a takeover came from Bentley Park just days after the resignations of Inspired's ex-chief executive and chairman, Brian Cole and Matt Cooper, who stepped down on May 18.

Inspired Capital shares were up 0.8% at 21.54999 pence on Thursday afternoon in London.

By Samuel Agini; samagini@alliancenews.com; @samuelagini

Copyright 2015 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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