Private equity firm offloads 20% in invoice discounter

MANCHESTER-based private equity company Infinity has sold its remaining 20% stake in Birmingham lender Positive Cashflow Finance, which has taken full ownership of the business.

The deal marks an exit for Infinity, which took a 55% stake when it backed Positive as a start-up with an investment of £2m in December 2007.

In 2013, Infinity reduced its holding to 20% as Positive’s management team, comprising managing director David Smith, finance director Peter Davis, commercial director Simon Cook and sales and marketing director Phil Chesham, raised its stake to 80%.
Positive, which has 30 staff across its offices in Birmingham and Manchester, provides factoring and invoice discounting facilities of between £10,000 and £1m to help businesses fund acquisitions, accelerate growth and improve their working capital position. Its loan book currently stands at £22m.

Smith said: “It was always our ambition to own the company outright and this transaction marks the final stage of that journey.

“Infinity backed us as a start-up way back in 2007 and has been an outstanding investor. The Infinity team has been extremely easy to work with, thoroughly professional and hugely supportive.

“We are now looking to continue our growth with bigger transactions and the addition of asset-based lending deals.”

Daniel Finestein, managing partner of Infinity, said: “Our investment in Positive Cashflow Finance was our very first deal and, even though it was a start-up, we knew we were backing a very experienced team.

“We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with David and his fellow directors and we wish them well for the future.”

Royal Bank of Scotland Invoice Finance provided funding to Positive’s management team in 2013 and has done so again for the latest deal.

John Gribbon, northern regional managing director of RBS Invoice Finance, said: “We are delighted and proud of our association with the team at Positive Cashflow Finance and we are excited about extending our support as they continue to build on their success as a leading independent in the factoring and discounting market.”

Paul Jefferson, a corporate partner at Gateley, advised Infinity on the deal. Paul Lockett, at Lockett Loveday McMahon and David Gledhill at Bermans advised Positive’s management team while Suzanne Love and Rebecca Mauleverer, at Shoosmiths acted for RBS Invoice Finance.

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