Clearway raises £23m from BGF and Santander

British Growth Fund

Deal type: Investment
Industry Sector: Technology
Completion date: 25th April 2018
Adviser(s): British Growth Fund

The Clearway Group, a vacant property services business has received a £23m funding package from BGF and Santander to support its organic and acquisitive growth strategy.

The funding is initially being used to make two acquisitions – Cerberus Security and Monitoring Services Limited (Cerberus), a Leeds-based security and monitoring business, and Protim SAS, a Paris based void property services company.

Clearway provides technology-led solutions including alarms, CCTV, steel windows and doors to monitor and secure vacant properties.

The Group, led by Chairman Stephen Walls, CEO Ian Quinlan, CFO David Gratton and co-founder and non-executive director Gideon Israel has seen rapid growth during the past 18 months, building on the Group’s reputation for technological leadership, service quality and responsiveness to build a national presence and brand.

The leadership team plans to use the funding to consolidate Clearway’s position in the UK and France and invest in its technology assets and solutions. The acquisition of Cerberus and Protim will strengthen Clearway’s position as a national leader in the vacant property services market, with forecast turnover of £18m for the 2018/9 financial year.

As part of the funding package, BGF, the most active investor for entrepreneurs and growing businesses in the UK and Ireland, invested £10m of growth capital. Santander provided a £13m debt facility.

Clearway CEO Ian Quinlan said: “The vacant property services market remains largely fragmented which results in inefficiencies for management companies requiring a national framework and service. BGF’s investment will help us accelerate our acquisition strategy and expansion across the UK. We’re pleased to be working with the team as we continue to scale the business and explore opportunities for growth in the market.”

Will Gresty, Investor, BGF said: “Clearway has an excellent reputation in the market and we are excited to be backing an experienced team to help build the company’s presence in the UK and France.”

Andrew Tully, Head of Origination – Financial Sponsors, Santander said: “We have a long association with Ian and his experienced team and are delighted to have the opportunity to assist them again in the creation of a serious challenger in the vacant property security markets in the UK and France.”

The deal was led for BGF by Will Gresty and Tom McDonnell and for Santander by Nick Holman and Victor Joannou.

Advisors to the transaction:

BGF: Doug Land, Michelle Kirkland (CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP).

Santander: Monica Barton (Reed Smith).

Clearway: James Kerrigan, Sonia de Kondserovsky and Chris Wilson (DLA Piper), Matthew Webster and Corey Dixon (EY-Parthenon), Jeff Harris and David Wright (BDO).

Cerberus: Steve Hubbard, Amy Lewis and Umito Choji (RSM).