Shard Credit Partners has provided additional senior debt facilities to The MAPD Group (“MAPD”) in support of its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Bermans (2012) Limited (“Bermans”), a North-West based commercial law firm specialising in invoice and asset finance.
This is the largest acquisition by MAPD to date, as it seeks to consolidate the highly fragmented legal services sector across the UK market. This brings total financing provided by Shard Credit Partners to MAPD in support of its buy and build acquisition strategy to £13.2 million, since March 2020.
Bermans is a highly regarded commercial law firm specialising in asset finance and invoice finance legal services. The business employs 72 staff and operates from two offices located in Manchester and Liverpool. The acquisition of Bermans also bolsters MAPD’s property, corporate law and litigation legal services throughout the north-west of England. The acquisition adds significant value to MAPD as the group continues to execute its strategy of organic and acquisitive growth.
MAPD stands for ‘Making a Positive Difference’. It is building a group of successful law firms, propelled by a single shared purpose; Making a Positive Difference. This ethos fuels business performance, motivates people, leads MAPD to deliver high quality work for their clients and roots firms more deeply in the communities, focusing on sustainable growth.
MAPD acquired the Jackson Lees Group (comprising Jackson Lees and Broudie Jackson Canter) in March 2020, and Myers and Co., in 2021. The business is looking to invest in aligned businesses within the legal sector via a nationwide acquisition strategy.
Brian Cullen, CEO of MAPD said: “We’re really pleased that Shard Credit Partners shares our vision. Our approach is based on acquiring strong regional law firms and giving them the rocket fuel they need to take them to the next level. We say ‘powered by MAPD’, our approach is to make something that’s already good, great.
“We did a lot of research and learning around different models prior to settling on the approach we now have. Once we decided that MAPD is a movement, not a business, it became much clearer. We are serious about Making a Positive Difference. It is so fundamental to our success, it became our name.
“Our approach is such that we don’t come in and do things to people we come in and do things with people. The strength of the law firms we are buying comes from the brand equity and the people.”
Alastair Brown, CEO at Shard Credit Partners, commented: “The acquisition of Bermans marks a substantial leap forward for MAPD’s proven strategy of growth through acquisition, as it seeks to become a major player in the UK’s fragmented legal services market. We share Brian and Joanna’s vision for growth and look forward to working with them as they continue to expand the platform into other regions of the UK through further acquisitions”.
Legal advice to MAPD was provided by O’Connors, led by David Malone, Natasha Lackner and Craig Geraghty. Strategic M&A advice was provided by Dow Schofield Watts, led by James Curtis and Connor Monaghan. Legal advice to Shard Credit Partners was provided by Gateley Legal.
Shard Credit Partners’ strategy is to become a leading provider of flexible and patient capital to entrepreneur and management-owned companies located throughout the UK, with a strong focus on driving transformational growth and jobs creation. Since 2017, Shard Credit Partners has invested more than £150 million in supporting regional Management Buy-Out transactions and M&A buy-and-build acquisition strategies, as well as growth capital expenditure financing.
About Shard Credit Partners:
Shard Credit Partners Limited is an alternative investment fund manager focused on private credit strategies in the UK lower mid-market. Its funds seek to generate superior risk-adjusted returns from conservatively structured senior secured credit investments with equity upside. Fund strategies include SME direct lending and tech-focused venture debt.
Assets under management currently total circa £200 million, allocated between two investment strategies. Investors include UK governmental organisations and public and private pension funds in the UK and Europe and Asia.
Shard Credit Partners is currently fundraising for its second vintage direct lending fund, which is expected to hold a first close during the first half of 2023.
Shard Credit Partners has a strong ESG focus, with a particular focus on backing businesses with demonstrable board diversity and ownership. Across both investment strategies, 90% of Shard Credit Partners’ borrowers have at least one woman on the board and around two thirds have mixed sex ownership. Shard Credit Partners was an early adopter of ESG covenants and ESG margin ratchets and these instruments are now standard in all its loan agreements.
Shard Credit Partners Limited is an Appointed Representative of Shard Capital AIFM LLP, authorised and regulated by the FCA (number 615463).
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