£7m funding package is a perfect fit for high-street fashion business

Nick Scott

Independent invoice finance provider, Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has provided a £7m funding package to historic Yorkshire-based clothing wholesaler and retailer, Baird Group.

The backing will support the business’s international growth ambitions.  

With heritage dating back to the 1890s, Baird Group employs more than 500 employees worldwide, with high-street customers including John Lewis, House of Fraser, Ted Baker and TK Maxx.

The Group’s UK headquarters are in Leeds, and the business has a growing roster of leading garment suppliers around the world, including in Egypt, China, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Vietnam and Turkey. 

Looking to secure working capital to support the growth of its wholesale division, Baird Group and BFS were advised by Shaun Mullens of Mazars, and Howard Smith at Interpath.

BFS’s deal-team – led by corporate manager David McIntyre – structured a £7m funding line, enabling the business to accelerate the payment of Letters of Credit to international suppliers. 

Nick Scott, group chief financial officer and director at Baird Group, who was named Outstanding Yorkshire Finance Leader at the Yorkshire Finance Leaders awards 2021 said: “Our vision is to be the go-to brand for affordable and stylish menswear, and we wanted to partner with a funder that understood our past but also our future.

“To achieve our growth ambition, we need to increase stock volumes from new and existing overseas suppliers, so it was critical that we could partner with a financier with both international experience and a flexible approach.

“The team at BFS took the time to understand our current operations, our customer-base and supply chains, but also, importantly, our vision for the future.”

A key part of the transaction was enabling the business to fund Letters of Credit – guaranteeing payment from Baird Group to its suppliers in Asia – to boost stock volumes and facilitate the group’s growth ambitions.  

McIntyre said: Our ability to provide funding for Letters of Credit will enable Baird Group to significantly increase volumes from its international suppliers.

“Combined with our invoice finance specialism, our international trade expertise provides a compelling proposition for businesses importing and exporting, and we look forward to seeing the business go from strength-to-strength with this tailored working capital package in place.”

Scott added: “Our financing partnership with BFS is a key part of our ambitious expansion plans, and will undoubtedly enable us to grow domestically and overseas. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with the team at BFS.”

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