MML has backed Vanguard's incumbent management team led by Ian Gillespie and its original founders, Andrew Allen and Gary King. All three take a significant equity stake in the company. Senior debt was provided by HSBC's South West England's office, while the management team was advised by Robson Taylor and Osborne Clarke. Allen and King founded the business in 2002.
The transaction is consistent with MML's long term strategy of partnering with owner-managers of growing businesses and follows similar recent UK investments in contract caterer, Baxter Storey, and engineered-facilities maintenance provider EIC.
MML partner Ian Wallis will join the Vanguard Board, with MML committing to providing further funds for expansion:
"MML Capital's strategy to partner with management providing equity and mezzanine financing for mid-sized businesses in the UK continues to allow it to transact in an otherwise challenging M&A environment," says Wallis. "This is a fantastic opportunity to support a management team who have founded and successfully grown Vanguard through relentless focus on service, quality and innovation."
Vanguard Operating nationwide, Vanguard is headquartered in Brockworth, Gloucestershire. The company's key service provision is the hire of mobile operating theatres, dedicated mobile endoscopy units and wards to public and private hospitals. The combination of increasing demand for operations coupled with limited hospital capacity is driving the requirement for additional capacity, with Vanguard the leading provider.
HSBC's Kevin Beevers, who led HSBC's team for the senior debt facilities, comments:
"Vanguard is a good business with a strong track record and quality management, and we are delighted to be involved,"
Rory Brooks, Founding Partner at MML Capital said:
"It is clear senior lenders are being highly selective in their choice of deals and deal partners. Meanwhile, MML's 20-year track record puts it on a very short list of partners with whom they will currently transact. This transaction again demonstrates MML's capacity to close deals even in stressed market conditions. In particular MML's ability to source senior debt on commercial terms provides management teams with confidence."
Bal Johal, a Partner at MML who worked on the deal, adds:
"The deal demonstrates our commitment to a flexible investment approach whereby each investment is carefully tailored to the company's needs. In this case we worked closely with the incumbent management team to understand the needs of all parties involved. And we look forward to supporting the Company's continuing growth."