The £5m refinancing package for Highway Care Limited (“HCL”) provided by Allied Irish Bank (“AIB”). HCL advisory team consisted Meta Corporate Finance (“Meta”) and ASB Law.
HCL is a global leader in highway barriers and associated safety solutions. Their high performance BG800 is one of the go-to products in the sector making it widely recognised on UK road improvement and high-profile infrastructure projects.
HCL were introduced to Meta by HCL’s long term legal advisers, ASB Law, as the company had an acute capital challenge resulting from an intellectual property dispute with a European manufacturer, with consequent pressure on profit and working capital. Although not considered a “turn around”, the collective team of management and advisors recognised it was a “special” situation and extremely challenging. This was the perception taken by the vast majority of potential funders.
HCL management and Meta, together with ASB Law, undertook a complete review of the company and shareholder strategy in the longer term and recognised that the nature of the short-term issue, and the correction thereof, was critical. Having resolved these aspects it was clear that the company could quickly return to prior levels of profit and cashflow and as such, the objective was to secure an Asset Based Lending (“ABL”) restructure, particularly on equipment finance obligations, to a partner who understood the nature of the sector and the anticipated long term cash generation and profitability of the business.
Management and advisory team presented the HCL business, situation and objective to the select debt group and this was quickly narrowed to a small number of parties who were comfortable with the pending legal issue and the niche nature of the asset class being lent against.
Meta and AIB, leveraging ASB Law’s longer-term knowledge, invested extensive time with management in understanding HCL products, projects, the contracting environment and revenue streams. As AIB invested this time in understanding HCL, once the European legal issue was successfully resolved they were able to move swiftly and provide a tailored and competitive ABL facility and ancillary products. This meant HCL refinanced the profile of their liabilities over a longer period to match the nature of their contracted revenues, secured a return to growth and critical investment in product development.
Mark Ledger-Beadell of Meta said “This transaction represented one of the best examples of how team collaboration between local professional teams and a long-standing Kent business providing critical infrastructure products can deliver a successful outcome, underpinning the next decade of HCL’s growth”.