Phoenix Equity Partners announces the successful IPO of The Gym Group

Phoenix Equity Partners (“Phoenix”), a leading UK mid-market private equity firm, is pleased to announce the successful IPO of The Gym Group plc (“The Gym” or “the Company” or “the Group”), the longest established operator of low-cost gyms in the UK. The market capitalisation of The Gym at admission to trading on the London Stock Exchange will be £250 million.

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Edif announces 12th acquisition

The Edif Group (www.edifgroup.com), a leading international technical inspection, engineering and consultancy business backed by Phoenix Equity Partners (“Phoenix”), is pleased to announce the acquisition of OST Energy Ltd (“OST”) by Edif ERA, one of its two divisions. This is the 12th acquisition by the Edif Group since it was formed under Phoenix ownership in February 2011.

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Porthaven Secures £100m Loan Facility from HSBC

Award winning Porthaven Care Homes has entered into a new five year £100m senior debt facility with HSBC to refinance 6 operational homes and develop up to 9 further new homes. 

HSBC previously financed the construction of Thirlestaine Park Care Home in Cheltenham for Porthaven which opened in 2014, and is funding existing developments at Chalfont St Peter, Marlborough and Chipping Norton.

John Storey, Chief Executive and Founder of Porthaven commented “It is a testament to the efforts and achievement of the team at Porthaven that HSBC has recognised, and is supporting, the growth of Porthaven. Securing such a facility in what still remains a challenging debt environment is something we are proud of, and we look forward to developing our relationship with HSBC even further.”

Jason Briggs from HSBC said “We have worked with Porthaven Care Homes for a number of years and this transaction strengthens the relationship further. Porthaven is an ambitious business that has continued to invest to take advantage of growth opportunities within its sector. We have a strong appetite to support the growth of businesses like Porthaven, and are pleased to be part of this exciting period, helping them take forward their growth plans.”

Pay as you sail is dead!

Global Navigation Solutions (‘GNS’), today announces a completely new approach to the purchasing of ENCs that is simpler, more convenient and better value for money for ship operators, and sounds the death-knell of ‘Pay as you sail’ and “Flat ENC” services. V Ships, the world's largest independent ship manager serving a fleet of over 1,000 vessels, is one of the first ship management companies to take advantage of this approach.

The new GNS Bundles enables GNS customers to buy the number of ENC permits they need at a pre-agreed annual price. Bundle options are available to suit both fixed route and tramping vessels. Fleet bundles for use across multiple vessels are also available offering even greater efficiencies.

The GNS Bundles have no geographic restrictions and there are no costly vessel tracking fees either. Top-ups can be agreed if more ENCs are required, and those ENCs that are not used in one year can be carried forward to the next period. 

Each customer purchasing GNS Bundles will also get free Voyager software to help vessels manage their route planning, ENC inventories and ENC permit requests, plus ENC updates and a facility to view ENCs and the allimportant Admiralty Information Overlay on PC back-of-bridge.

Having agreed the GNS Bundle required, the customer is provided with a fixed cost for a 12 month period, payable either as one annual fee or in 12 monthly instalments. Just one order is raised and one invoice processed saving long hours of administrative checking, approving and managing of ENC orders and because shipping companies are paying a fixed annual price they have the added advantage of knowing exactly how much they’ll spend on ENCs each year.

Hayley Jopson, Head of Marketing at Global Navigation Solutions commented: “We see this as a logical development for the way ENCs are used. GNS Bundles can now be purchased on a similar basis to the way mobile phone usage is now bought. It couldn’t be simpler.”

Captain Anshuman Jain at V Ships added: “This is a simple approach which will save us money and time.”

Edif Group identified in London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’

Edif Group recognised in second edition of London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report 2015 

  • Identifies fastest-growing and most dynamic SME businesses in the UK 
  • Edif Group is a leading independent provider of Engineering, Inspection and Consultancy solutions to Industrial markets worldwide. 

Edif Group has been identified as one of London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain. The report is a celebration of the UK’s fastest-growing and most dynamic small and medium sized businesses. 

To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers. More detail on the methodology can be found in the report online at www.1000companies.com. 

In the past twelve months Edif Group has consolidated its position in the marketplace by providing value for its customers by helping improve the quality, safety and reliability of critical assets and infrastructure. With more than 20 offices internationally, over 400 full time staff and a network of associates in excess of 2,500, Edif serves clients across a range of industrial markets that include Power, Oil & Gas, Defence, Rail and Aerospace. We have long term relationships with clients built on our ability to enable their success. 

Rob Dilworth, CEO of Edif Group, says, “To be one of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain is a key accolade for Edif Group. It has been a strong year for us and I am delighted that we have been identified as one of the companies that will shape the future of the UK economy. Edif Group is constantly evolving to ensure it remains at the forefront of delivering the best services to our customers. It is a great testament to the hard work of all Edif staff and our financial backers PEP LLP and HSBC that we have been named in the London Stock Exchange’s report and we remain focused on providing the services and technical expertise that UK business requires to support its future growth.” 

Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive, London Stock Exchange Group said: “This report is a significant part of London Stock Exchange’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies in their journeys from Start-up to Stardom and to create an entrepreneurship revolution. I’m delighted that a strong alliance between UK Government, financial market participants, investors, entrepreneurs and companies has been created to support these inspiring businesses.” 

A full searchable database of all of the companies along with a downloadable pdf of the publication can be found online at www.1000companies.com.

Phoenix Equity Partners announces the sale of CloserStill

Phoenix Equity Partners (“Phoenix”), a leading UK middle-market private equity firm, announces today that it has agreed to sell its stake in CloserStill (“CloserStill” or “the Company”), a top business-to-business exhibition organiser, to Inflexion Private Equity (“Inflexion”). 

Headquartered in London and founded in 2008, CloserStill specialises in professional events primarily for the healthcare and technology markets. Since investing in the company in 2012, Phoenix has worked with Andy Center, CloserStill’s Chief Executive, and the management team to accelerate the Company’s growth, with revenues trebling and profits quadrupling during the three years of Phoenix’s investment in the Company. 

CloserStill’s strong growth was achieved by rapidly growing existing events and by significantly expanding the portfolio. A UK-only group at investment, CloserStill held its first international event in 2013 and now generates 20% of its revenue internationally with events in France, Germany and Singapore. The Company strengthened its position in the UK with six new show launches and made six bolt-on acquisitions in total. CloserStill has also rapidly grown its employee base, with numbers more than doubling during the period of Phoenix’s investment. 

Kevin Keck, Partner at Phoenix, commented: 

"We are very proud to have worked in partnership with Andy and CloserStill’s excellent management team to accelerate the Company’s growth, both in the UK and internationally, through new show launches and several bolt-on acquisitions. CloserStill is a great success story with a strong platform to continue to build on. We wish the CloserStill team well and know they will continue to thrive.” 

Andy Center, CEO at CloserStill, said: 

“Phoenix have been tremendous partners – smart, supportive and a pleasure to work with from start to finish. The bond of trust and mutual respect between Phoenix in general, and Kevin in particular, and the CloserStill management team contributed directly to the growth and international expansion of the company. We would like to whole-heartedly thank Phoenix and look forward to continuing the adventure with our new partners Inflexion.” 

Porthaven Commences Construction of 10th Care Home in Chipping Norton

Porthaven Care Homes commences construction of a new care home in Chipping Norton this month as part of the redevelopment of the former Penhurst School on New Street. The home will be built to Porthaven’s award winning specification, and will provide 24-hour residential and nursing care for the elderly, including residents living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The home will comprise 58 spacious bedrooms, each with its own wetroom, and residents will benefit from numerous communal facilities throughout the home including a café, hair salon, leisure and wellness room, a private dining room for special family occasions, as well as several lounges and dining rooms, with each room being designed to incorporate the best of current innovation in care home design whilst maintaining a warm, safe, comfortable and homely environment.

John Storey, Chief Executive and Founder of Porthaven commented “We are very excited about this new home which will open in Spring 2016. Not only will we be providing a much needed service for the people of Chipping Norton and the surrounding Cotswolds, but the home will also directly employ over 70 local people as well as, we anticipate, become a valuable part of the local community.”

Key Retirement named best broker for equity release

Leading over-55s financial provider Key Retirement has been voted Best Broker for Equity Release at this year’s Mortgage Strategy Awards. 

This marks the eighth time Key has won the award and builds on the company’s past success; bringing its award tally to 49. The accolade underlines Key’s ongoing commitment to service, and its determination to put customers at the heart of the business.

Collecting the award at a dedicated ceremony in London, Richard Overson, managing director of retirement lending, said: “We’re very proud of this achievement and the recognition it represents, especially as the nominations are made by our peers.

“Our focus has consistently been on ensuring we deliver the best possible service for our customers and all of our business partners. Winning Best Broker for Equity Release firmly establishes us as the best in our field and is testament to the hard work of all at Key.” Preston-based KR Group, which was founded in 1998 as an equity release specialist, has grown to be the UK’s number one equity release adviser through Key Retirement and a leading innovative equity release lender through more 2 life.

KR Group is backed by leading private equity investor Phoenix Equity Partners which bought a majority stake in the company for £35 million. Expansion has included strengthening its proposition for intermediaries in the specialist lending market, with the acquisition of leading packager V Loans, and taking up a majority shareholding in fixed term annuity provider Primetime Retirement.

As well as equity release, Key Retirement offers a retirement options service, wills and lasting powers of attorney.

CloserStill receives 20 nominations for the exhibition news awards 2015

CloserStill, a leading organiser of business‐to‐business exhibitions, has received 20 nominations across nine categories for the upcoming Exhibition News Awards. This number of nominations is significantly higher than the number received by any other company. CloserStill is hoping to build on its success at the Exhibition News Awards in 2014, where it won an unprecedented 7 awards.

The nominations include three nominations for the Best Newcomer Award, a category that CloserStill has won three years in succession, and three nominations for best Marketing Manager, a category that CloserStill has won four years consecutively. Other nominated categories include Best Sales Person, Best Operations Team, Best Event Director, Best Marketing Campaign, Best Brand Expansion, Show Rising Star, and Best Trade Show.

CloserStill was founded in 2008 by the current management team, led by Andy Center, and now employs over 120 individuals. It organises events across the healthcare and technology sectors and operates in the UK, Germany, France and Singapore.