PE Tech Report


Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

Kester completes hat-trick of refinancings

Kester Capital, a primary buyout specialist, has successfully refinanced three of its portfolio companies following strong revenue and profit growth over the last 18 months.  

Kester’s sector focus and track record has resulted in strong lender appetite for three of its portfolio companies: Avania, YouGarden and Frontier Medical.
The deals come following a busy start to the year for Kester which recently announced its investment in drug discovery business, Optibrium, as well as the expansion of its investment team with a run of new hires.
Avania is a leading, global full-service contract research organisation focused on the management of clinical studies for medical devices, IVDs, biologics, and device-drug combination products internationally.  Headquartered in the Netherlands, Kester Capital acquired the business in 2016 and has driven an increasingly global presence through organic and acquisitive growth. Since Kester’s initial investment the business has more than quadrupled its revenue.  The deal sees Avania refinance its existing banking facilities with Crescent Capital which will enable Kester to position Avania well for its next phase oforganic and acquisitive growth.
Headquartered in Lincolnshire, YouGarden is the UK’s leadingspecialist e-commerce retailer of horticultural products. Over the last five years the business has delivered an organic compound annual growth rate of over 50 per cent. This impressive revenue growth has been accelerating due to the increasing trend of consumers to shop online. Coupled with a high level of profit conversion, the business was able to secure increased facilities from Santander and deliver a strong return to shareholders.
Frontier Medical, headquartered in Wales, is a specialist medical device business focused on the global pressure area care market. Since Kester Capital’s involvement, the business has seen significant international expansion and a broadening of the offering through new product development. These initiatives have seen export revenues grow by 160% and total revenues by over 60 per cent. Last summer, Frontier sold its non-core infection prevention division and following this has secured new loan facilities from Crescent Capital. As a result of the refinancing, Kester has now returned over 2x its original investment in Frontier. 
Cameron Crockett, Managing Partner of Kester Capital, says: “We are delighted to have secured refinancings for three of our portfolio companies, a real testament to the strength of the portfolio and the excellent performance of these businesses in challenging circumstance. We continue to be a supportive partner to Avania, YouGarden and Frontier and we are delighted that both Crescent Capital and Santander were able to deliver attractive debt packages to support continued development within these market leading businesses.”

Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter