£7m facility will fund footwear wholesaler’s expansion and acquisition plans

Jacobson owns the Gola footwear brand

An Oldham footwear wholesaler has secured a £7m ABL (asset-based lending) facility from Independent Growth Finance (IGF).

As a branded operation, D. Jacobson & Sons saw large opportunities for growth within its portfolio.

The seller needed extra working capital to expand into new international markets and invest in online technology to support progression during the pandemic and beyond.

Jacobson Group’s expertise focuses on all aspects of sourcing footwear to meet the ever-evolving needs of the marketplace.

A third-generation family business, Jacobson was incorporated in 1982 and has a rich history spanning more than 80 years.

The company holds an enviable brand portfolio that resonates with a broad mix of consumer profiles, including retail partners such as John Lewis, Urban Outfitters Group, Next and Amazon.

This enables it to deliver footwear solutions to various levels of retail on a global scale.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent closure of non-essential retail, the trading environment became very challenging.

KPMG was engaged by Jacobson to support it in refinancing its existing ABL facilities to help generate additional working capital and fund future growth.

Jacobson was in the market for a new lender who was comfortable with the sector and the challenges it presents.

IGF, which is based in Surrey but has a Manchester office, was one of several lenders approached by KPMG and was the best fit for the company. Funds were raised from assets within the business, including invoices, stock and property.

Richard Spielbichler, ABL director at IGF, said: “We really took the time to understand both the business and the individuals within it.

“This helped us to create and present a well-balanced and workable financial solution for Jacobson and demonstrate our commitment to supporting them through transition and with their growth aspirations.

“We’re delighted to be supporting such a long-established and respected business in the North West of England.”

Haroon Ahmed, enterprise financing regional lead at KPMG, said: “Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was entering a refinancing exercise against a very challenging backdrop.

“A number of lenders were closed to new business and due diligence requirements in the period had increased materially.”

Gary Shutt, financial director at Jacobson Group, said: “We believe this will allow us to remain responsive and adaptable to the ever-changing demands presented in today’s international market. We look forward to working with IGF.”