£200k loan helps facilities management firm to emerge from pandemic

From left: Richard Evans, Jigme Tashi (Innovate), Daniel Bowles (Topping Partnership), Adam Husband (FW Capital), Paul Mak (Pomegranate Commercial Finance)
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A Manchester-based facilities management company has received a £200,000 loan from NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

The firm, innovatefm, or ifm – trading as Innovate Corporation – offers specialist cleaning, waste management and other facilities services and support across a range of sectors including food, hygiene, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, corporate and construction.

The company recently underwent an MBO which was funded by Close Brothers and advised by Paul Mak of Pomegranate Finance and Dan Bowles of Toppings Partnership.

The deal saw director Jigme Tashi take control of the business which is operationally run by operations director Richard Evans and his management and national support team.

Following completion of the MBO, the business secured funding from NPIF-FW Capital to provide working capital, helping them navigate difficult trading conditions during the pandemic.

Innovate employs around 90 staff and more than 100 subcontractors and has a turnover of around £1.7m, with another £850,000 of support services to other larger FM’s and businesses in the UK.

Managing director, Jigme Tashi, said: “For the first three months of the initial lockdown most of our customers reduced or paused services and this led to a 60% reduction in our business. The funding from NPIF-FW Capital and our focus on innovative savings has been critical for providing cost savings and working capital to support our business through this tough transition.

“We were able to use this time to focus on reducing our carbon footprint and digitising 99% of our systems. Our focus then moved to our employees to grow them within the business and alongside training all our management teams to support areas of the business.

“The business, our strong management and our treasured employees, have steered the business to its current position, and we look forward to steady growth with our partner FW Capital supporting our visions for the future.”

Adam Husband, investment executive at FW Capital, said: “Innovate is an impressive and profitable business that is run by an experienced and dynamic management team. Like many companies, their business was affected by the pandemic and they needed some support to help them.

“They have now recovered well and look to have already achieved many of the milestones set out in their business plan.”

Sue Barnard, at British Business Bank, said: “NPIF continues to support high growth businesses in the North, providing vital funding to enable job creation and expansion into new markets. This investment into Innovate demonstrates how this funding can make a real and measurable difference to businesses across the Northern Powerhouse region, in turn helping to create a more prosperous regional economy.”

FW Capital provides loans of £100,000 to £750,000 to businesses based in the NPIF region with a focus on the North West, Cumbria and Tees Valley.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

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