Plant firm signs up £70m deal to fund expansion

Joint MDs Douglas (second left) and Iain (far right) with representatives from the RBS team

GAP GROUP, the biggest privately-owned plant and tool hire business in the UK, is poised for more growth after clinching a £70m finance deal.

The Glasgow-based company operates from 67 sites across the UK and recently opened a new depot, its first for a number of years, in Tewkesbury. The new finance package from RBS Invoice Finance (RBSIF) will help the group achieve its plans to three to four new sites a year
GAP has customers in a wide range of sectors, including the rail and utilities industries and the public sector. Turnover in the financial year ending March 2012 £85m and it is expected to hit £95m in the current year.
The family-owned and run business, which employs more than 1,000 people, was formed in 1969 by Gordon Anderson and is now run by his sons Douglas and Iain.
Along with the three-year asset based lending commitment from RBSIF, RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking has become the sole banking partner for GAP, providing all transactional banking requirements.
Danny O’Neil, GAP Group chairman, said: “Following a period of strong growth we carried out a wide-ranging competitive tender in order to choose a banking partner. In addition to financial considerations we were looking for a partner to support us in our ambitions to continue to expand and diversify. The three-year committed funding package together with our strong cash flow will be key in allowing us to grow our asset base for the benefit of our customers.
“The board of GAP are very excited about our prospects.”
Chris Hawes, director of corporate at RBS Invoice Finance added: “The Scottish ABL [asset based lending] team have been in discussion with GAP for a number of years and we are delighted to welcome them on board. We have built a strong relationship with the management team, which has enabled us to develop a longer-term understanding of the company’s strategic direction and funding requirements.
“This has enabled us to introduce the benefits of using ABL as a viable alternative for funding their growth plans because it provides advances against company assets. Indeed the flexibility of ABL makes it an attractive option for many corporates and we are increasingly seeing it being recognised by the corporate finance community as a core lending product.”

Image – Joint MDs Douglas (second left) and Iain (far right) with representatives from the RBS team.