Historic Black Country firm to launch apprenticeship programme following finance
The new owner of a historic Black Country home improvement firm has secured financial backing to develop the business and launch an apprenticeship programme.
Steffan White was able to acquire Burrows Home Comfort in Landport Road, Wolverhampton, after securing £200,000 investment through the ThinCats peer-to-peer lending platform, arranged by Ludgate Finance.
Established in 1946, Burrows Home Comfort is the West Midlands leading home improvement company.
The company works in partnership with councils, registered social landlords and private home owners to deliver projects from large-scale capital works programmes to external wall insulations, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, flat roofing and property modernisation.
Steffan has extensive experience in the engineering and construction industry having previously worked at building materials company Kingspan and manufacturing firm Hilti.
He said: “I have known Darrius Burrows, the previous owner, for over 20 years and when he discussed plans to wind down the business, I saw it as a great opportunity.
“I had worked as a consultant at Burrows Home Comfort for around a year but didn’t have the same in-depth knowledge of the company.
“I was therefore attracted by the fact that Darrius would stay on as a consultant and would mentor me until I had my feet under the table and could drive the business forward.”
Steffan needed to raise investment to acquire Burrows Home Comfort and create enough cash flow in the business to increase operations. He approached a number of high street banks but they were unable to accommodate the loan.
He added: “It was quite frustrating. For six months I was preparing statements and giving financial information only to be turned down by all of the various financial establishments.
“I was introduced to Ludgate Finance who are specialists in raising alternative finance.
“They used the ThinCats platform to secure investment and I couldn’t believe how quick it was. It was a relief when we reached the £200,000 target.
“If we hadn’t have been able to complete the deal, Darrius would have been forced to shut the business down. Burrows employs 14 staff and 30 sub-contractors some of which have worked here for 20 years. It would have been a crying shame to see that lost.
“My focus is to continue to drive the business and to reinvest in apprenticeships. I have a remit with Jobcentre Plus and local schools and colleges to put trainees through apprenticeships and we are looking at hiring an initial four or five apprentices.”
Steve Grice, director at Ludgate Finance, which has offices in Wolverhampton and Birmingham, assisted Steffan throughout the fundraising process.
He said: “Unfortunately, many banks are still hesitant to lend to businesses and as Steffan was coming into the company brand new they would have felt that this was too high risk.
“This is where peer-to-peer lending platforms such as ThinCats can provide the best alternative to secure the deal. We looked at several other platforms for this deal, but Thincats provided the best option.
“The acquisition took all of the existing cash out of the business so the £200,000 investment was vital to ensuring cash flow.
“It is great to see that the investment has enabled Burrows Home Comfort to enter a new chapter and Steffan now has the flexibility to drive the business forward.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Matt Joyce .
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