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Shard Credit Partners Direct Lending Fund I posts second exit with GadCap Debt Repayment

(Photo shows key senior management Paul Seccombe (left) and Michael Baker (right))


GadCap Technical Solutions Ltd (“GadCap”) has completed its final debt repayment to Shard Credit Partners Direct Lending Fund I, five years after completing its debt-funded primary MBO in February 2019.

GadCap was established through the spin out of the business and assets of the power generation and aerospace solutions division of a multinational engineering conglomerate in the North East of England.

The direct lending investment by Shard Credit Partners was the first of several primary non-sponsored MBOs financed from its inaugural UK lower mid-market direct lending fund.

Despite encountering numerous macroeconomic challenges throughout its first five years as an independent business, GadCap never missed an interest payment and ensured that it repaid the maximum amount of debt possible each year from surplus cash generated from operations.


Alastair Brown, CEO of Shard Credit Partners commented:

“The MBO of GadCap is a model for uncomplicated private credit investing in the UK lower mid-market.  The senior management team are now in the enviable position of owning a significant majority of the ordinary shares in a highly cash generative business with zero debt outstanding.  As a minority shareholder alongside Paul and Michael we look forward to the next stage of our exciting journey together”.

Michael Baker said:

“We will be eternally grateful to Shard Credit Partners for providing us initially with the funds to secure the MBO, but also for their continued belief in the team and the support given over these past five years in helping us realise and achieve our goals.”

Paul Seccombe added:

“We are immensely proud, having come through a couple of uncertain economic years to have successfully paid off the facility loan after five years as we set out in our business plan when forming the company.  We are now in position to review our strategy and provide a platform for the future using Shard as our credit partner as we continue our venture.”


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JST Services (Scotland) Ltd completes acquisition of pier and haulage division of TSL Contractors Limited, Isle of Mull, West Coast of Scotland.

Roundwood timber being loaded onto a cargo ship at Fishnish Pier, Isle of Mull.


Shard Credit Partners’ investee company JST Services (Scotland) Ltd (“JST”) has acquired the pier and haulage division of TSL Contractors Limited (“TSL”), located on the Isle of Mull off the West Coast of Scotland. This strategic acquisition extends JST’s operations in the Scottish timber transportation and logistics industry. Approximately 50,000 tonnes of roundwood logs are loaded onto cargo ships at Fishnish pier each year, to be transported across the open sea to processing centres on the UK mainland.

JST is a unique provider of mobile port logistics and materials handling and transportation services at ports around the UK and Ireland. From its base in Ayrshire, South West Scotland, JST operates a fleet of mobile cranes, timber haulage vehicles, timber handling vehicles, and mobile port handling equipment. Much of its equipment has been developed specially with its clients and equipment manufacturers to undertake complex materials handling tasks, creating a unique IP and patent base.

TSL has operated Fishnish pier on an exclusive basis on the Isle of Mull since its construction in 2014 on behalf of the Scottish Forestry Commission (Forest and Land Scotland) which manages 470,000 hectares of Scotland’s forests and woodlands. TSL’s fleet of HGV’s haul around 50,000 tonnes of timber per year from the surrounding Mull forests to the pier, where it is loaded directly onto cargo ships for transport to timber processing facilities. This operation provides valuable economic activity in a sparsely populated area of the country, in addition to providing an essential service in the maintenance of the ecological supply-chain of the island.

The Fishnish pier activities on Mull are viewed as being particularly attractive to JST, not only from an economic perspective, but also from a strategic perspective. The integration of the Fishnish pier operation into the wider JST Floating Piers division strengthens its network and offering to customer engaged in sustaining the Scottish commercial forestry industry.

Richard Jennings, managing director of JST said:

“This strategic bolt on acquisition to JST’s Floating Piers division in Scotland will enable us to further expand our offering to key customers, especially the Scottish Forestry Commission”.

Alastair Brown, CEO of Shard Credit Partners, comments:

“this acquisition is strongly accretive and will help to accelerate JST’s expansion in the Highlands and Islands, complimenting recent strong organic growth achieved throughout the UK and Ireland since our investment in the business three years ago”.

Legal advice to JST was provided by Gateley Legal, led by Oliver Harker. Financial DD was provided by Azets, led by Graham Cunning and Joseph Sheridan.

Shard Credit Partners’ strategy is to become a leading provider of capital to entrepreneur and management-owned high growth businesses and private equity-owned companies focused on achieving transformational growth and expansion in the UK regions.  During the past five years, Shard Credit Partners has invested more than £150.0 million in supporting regional Management Buy-Out transactions throughout the UK regions and M&A buy-and-build acquisition strategies, as well as growth capital expenditure financing.

Continue reading “JST Services (Scotland) Ltd completes acquisition of pier and haulage division of TSL Contractors Limited, Isle of Mull, West Coast of Scotland.”

Veremark extends Series A with $4m from Shard Credit Partners and acquires 2 companies in ANZ

The global Pre-employment screening service will continue to expand its geographic presence across Europe & Apac as well as acquire more businesses

London, 9 May 2023 Veremark, the global web3.0 pre-employment screening and verified career credentials firm, has raised a further $4m in debt funding led by a new investor, Shard Credit Partners, a specialist lender to the Fintech sector.

This comes just 6 months after its initial $8.5m series A round led by Stage2 Capital and participated in by Samaipata, ACF Investors and Triplepoint and brings the company’s total funding raised to date to $16.3m including early seed and angel investment

Veremark who offers more than 40 kinds of credential checks in 150 countries has seen its client base double since the close of its Series A and now has over 1300+ clients.  The growth in the client base has predominantly been due to the increased ease and simplicity of the platform’s ability to get clients onboarded and help them manage a growing need for international checks.

In addition to furthering its organic growth strategy, Veremark has also acquired Employrite Pty and Employrite Ltd in Australia and New Zealand, strengthening the group’s capabilities across APAC.

As one of APAC’s longest standing pre-employment screening agencies, Employrite brings with it a wealth of industry experience and blue chip client base.  The acquisition encompassed both the Australia and New Zealand books of businesses and IP.

Veremark continues to operates as a globally distributed team with core hubs in the UK, USA, Australia, Singapore, India, and the Philippines, with over 100+ team members servicing clients 24/7.

Daniel Callaghan, CEO of Veremark, said: “We are delighted to bring Shard Credit Partners with us on the journey of transforming how companies ensure the appropriate screening and continued compliance of their employees.  Our mission remains to help the world trust faster and with both Shard and Employrite onboard now we can bring this to reality, not only in our key markets of the UK growth sector, but also across the broader ANZ region.”

Alastair Brown, CEO and Founder of Shard Credit Partners said, “we are delighted to have recently completed this innovative venture debt investment in Veremark to facilitate the geographical expansion into Australia and New Zealand through these two exciting acquisitions. This transaction is in our sweet spot of investing in UK tech-focused SMEs to help accelerate growth and jobs creation.”

Whilst David Birchall founder and Katrina co-founder of Employrite shared, “The marrying of Employrite and Veremark is a great union.  With our market knowledge and presence supported by their state of the art technology and global reach means that we can continue to deliver more for our clients.  We are excited by what the future holds.”

The pre-employment screening market is estimated at $16bn[1] annually, with strong continued global growth expected.  With more than two million screening checks now completed by the Veremark group, the company has a wealth of data to drive further automation and insights as well as continue to pioneer it’s innovative blockchain based credentials offering.

About Veremark: Veremark is a global background screening service that works with companies to run checks on prospective employees, business partners, LPs and founders.  The company operates globally with regional offices across APAC, UK, EU and USA. Since launch in 2019, the company has served hundreds of the world’s top venture backed companies and multinationals to implement better people compliance practices and works directly with Heads of Talent Acquisition to help them improve speed and overall hiring experience. To find out more, please visit www.veremark.com

About Shard Credit Partners: Shard Credit Partners 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, tech-focused venture debt and global trade finance.  Assets under management currently total circa £200 million. Investors include UK governmental organisations and public and private pension funds in the UK, Europe and Asia.  Shard Credit Partners Ltd is an Appointed Representative of Shard Capital AIFM LLP, authorised and regulated by the FCA.

About Stage 2 Capital:  The first go-to-market venture capital firm, Stage 2 Capital, combines capital and GTM execution expertise, leveraging its elite LP base of 300+ senior executives from unicorns and Fortune 500 firms to help portfolio companies scale revenue and accelerate growth. Stage 2 Capital invests globally in earlier-stage B2B software companies. To find out more, please visit https://www.stage2.capital

About Samaipata: Samaipata is a pan-European venture capital fund investing in digital platforms with network effects at the early stage across Europe. With €150m under management, they focus on backing early stage founders in the UK, France, Germany and Southern Europe. To find out more, please visit https://samaipata.vc/

About ACF Investors: Launched in 2011, ACF Investors (formerly the Angel CoFund) is a privately managed and commercially focused venture capital fund that works alongside sector smart business angels to invest in high potential SMEs across the UK, directly providing funding to support exceptional businesses.

To date ACF Investors has supported 100 companies, including such names as Ebury, Gousto, Creo Medical and Form3, providing more than £50 million in direct investment alongside more than £300 million from business angels and other investors, making it one of the most active early-stage investors in the country. To find out more, please visit www.acfinvestors.com

About Triple Point Ventures: Triple Point Ventures is the venture arm of Triple Point, a purpose-driven investment manager with £2.5bn AUM, creating investment opportunities to help address society’s biggest challenges. Find out more at www.triplepoint.vc

[1] https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1210677/000119312521177004/d147929ds1.htm