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Profile Winter 2008 Newsletter

PKF Corporate Finance: An intermediary’s view

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Pictured: Patrick Abel from PKF

PKF’s Sheffield office is one of South Yorkshire’s leading firms of accountants and business advisers and last year completed transactions with a total value of around £90million. PKF specialise in advising the management of developing private and public businesses.

The team is led by corporate finance partner, Patrick Abel, who last year advised on South Yorkshire’s “Deal of the Year” - the institutionally backed management buy-out of ESS Steels Holdings with business units in Sheffield and Rotherham.

PKF has worked with South Yorkshire Investment Fund on a number of transactions, including the largest single investment it has made to date. The deal was the management buy-out of JDF Logistics of Barnsley, where the Fund invested £1.5million in a mixed equity and debt package.

Smaller deals have included an unsecured loan of £50,000 to support the balance of funding for the Intermet Refractories management buy-in.

And more recently PKF and SYIF were involved with the equity investment provided to support the management buy-in of Hardmetal Products Ltd, in which SYIF made a syndicated investment of £400,000 alongside another local fund provider, UK Steel Enterprise.

Patrick said: “PKF find it easy to work with SYIF because they offer a range of practical funding solutions from small unsecured loans, where we may be looking for additional headroom for working capital, through to equity and mezzanine finance. This can support acquisitions for companies or for individuals looking to execute management buy-outs or buy-ins. Each deal is viewed on its own merit and the Fund has a very much can-do attitude to getting involved.”

Patrick identified that the support of SYIF has been vital during the last seven years, but particularly in the last 12-month period.

He added: “The involvement of the Fund is vital to many local transactions and even more now than ever before with the current turmoil in the banking markets. The Fund gives confidence to banks and other funders as it will undertake its own due diligence on transactions.

“The Fund can bridge the funding gaps that would not be available from conventional banking due to lack of security from a company’s asset base.

“We look forward to working with SYIF for a long time to come and welcome the arrival of the Yorkshire-wide Successor Funds planned for 2009.”

PKF (UK) LLP has 23 offices in the UK with 1800 partners and staff. It is a member firm of PKF International, a global association of legally independent firms with 400 offices in 119 countries.

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).