To prepare for its potential acquisition as part of a reverse takeover, and to increase its footprint across the UK and Ireland, Greenview Gas – a heating and gas, electrical, renewable energy and air conditioning management company – has completed a number of strategic acquisitions. This required a specialist, tailored, financing solution – something ExWorks Capital was able to provide. Ben Boateng, Senior Director at ExWorks Capital, explains.
Founded in 2016 to deliver two large heating installation and maintenance contracts for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Belfast-based Greenview has recently completed a series of strategic acquisitions in order to gain a larger foothold in the heating and electrical installation and maintenance sectors in both the UK and Ireland.
While hoping to complete an ambitious scope and geography expansion by 2025, a key aim is to prepare for a potential reverse takeover that lists the company on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The heating and electrical installation and maintenance sectors remain fragmented. Competition is high and – while many of these businesses are successful – they struggle to attract strong valuations from trade buyers and/ or private equity. As a result, many are limited to the regions in which they are based, which significantly restricts their potential for growth.
In order to gain a greater stronghold in this market – while simultaneously expanding its geographical and service provision coverage – Greenview began a series of acquisitions of small, undervalued, installation and maintenance companies. Consolidating such businesses allows for larger project tendering and also encourages a higher valuation than those applied to smaller installation and maintenance businesses.
One acquisition is CHS Group, a heating installation and maintenance business based in Farnborough in southeast England. CHS Group provides services to housing associations and public sector clients and, importantly, gives Greenview a specialized presence in the South of England. This, in turn, will facilitate the local delivery of contracts tendered centrally. In the medium-term, Greenview aims to win key tenders in the counties of southern England. Yet the deal required significant up-front liquidity.
In fact, Greenview has been in the process of acquiring a number of other similar businesses since 2017, meaning any spare liquidity has been pledged elsewhere. Also, with respect to accessing capital, such a recently-established company lacks both the track-record and the balance sheet strength to be able to tap more traditional sources of finance.
Of course, the banks are hugely liquid with respect to serving their multinational clients, but for smaller borrowers and more nuanced situations, the traditional lenders remain constrained – as they have been since the 2008 global financial crisis. So when Greenview approached ExWorks for help funding its acquisition of CHS Group, unlike the banks, we were able to look beyond any potentially limiting factors and take a calculated risk based on the company’s success and business acumen, as well as its exciting outlook for the future.
ExWorks was able to provide a 12-month term loan and revolving debt facility totalling £3.75 million, £3 million of which has already been made available to Greenview. This funding has provided a contribution towards its acquisition of CHS Group, while providing the company with working capital and creating liquidity to refinance existing debt within both the CHS and Greenview Groups. Greenview anticipates that the funds will also contribute to its plan of being acquired by Rockpool Acquisitions Plc in a reverse takeover (RTO).
The potential Rockpool acquisition would allow Greenview access to the public markets via the London Stock Exchange. Before this happens, however, Greenview is required to meet key business targets.
Acquiring CHS is a major milestone for Greenview, giving them the opportunity for wider tendering throughout regions across the UK and Ireland. Having played an important role in this process, ExWorks has developed a strong relationship with both Greenview and Rockpool – something we hope will continue throughout the reverse takeover and beyond.