Polestar, the full-service Corporate Finance boutique, has successfully advised Ethos Partners and Management on a debt raise through Harwood Capital to help facilitate the management buy-out of People Value, a leader in HR employee engagement solutions. 

Established in Wheatley in 2002, Mike Morgan and his management team have built a bespoke HR solutions business specialising in voluntary benefits, employee engagement, and health and wellbeing. Since inception, the client base has grown exponentially to more than 400 customers and 1 million users, catering for the needs of owner-managed SME businesses right through to enterprise-level customers.

The investment from Ethos Partners and senior debt will allow the Vendor to take a step back from day-to-day management, commencing a phased exit towards retirement, whilst aligning interests of the management team with the shareholders.

The Polestar Debt Advisory team was engaged by Newco to run an expedited process and raise a debt package that was compelling while still offering maximum flexibility in the early years to weather any bumps in the road. The team received a range of offers from high street banks and specialist debt funds.

Having secured five quality offers within three weeks, management opted to proceed with Harwood Capital, whose funding solution was most closely aligned with Ethos and Management’s view on risk management and to support the next exciting chapter of the company’s development.

The transaction completed on schedule within the seven-week timeframe during which time Debt advisory team supported Newco with deal structuring, securing credit approval, legal documentation, and negotiation of terms (the covenants), as well as ensuring a smooth security transfer from incumbent bank RBS to help minimise disruption to users.

Pascal Wittet, Ethos Partners commented;

We were delighted with the debt advisory support we received from Chris Roberts at Polestar. We were looking for flexible banking facilities to support the growth of People Value and Chris lead the identification of several banking partners and supported us in tailoring the facilities. Polestar supported with the modelling which was instrumental in being able to set the appropriate covenants and the negotiation of the banking aspects in the legal documentation. We are very grateful to Polestar and could not have arranged the facilities in the time required without their support.

Chris Roberts, Polestar commented;

' We are passionate about delivering the best outcomes;  that includes delivering high quality offers from a range of senior debt providers promptly. We thoroughly enjoyed working with management and Ethos to facilitate a structure that supports growth and affords maximum flexibility.   I am sure the People Value has a bright future ahead of it.

Polestar looks forward to supporting more owner-managed businesses and other sponsors with their growth and equity release requirements in the near future.'