Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Ltd. (Arbuthnot Commercial ABL) is pleased to announce the completion of a bespoke £3.5m transaction to support the management buy-out of Online Home Retail Limited (trading as www.plumbworld.co.uk), one of the UK’s leading e-commerce retailer of bathroom related products, from Grafton Group PLC, an international distributor of building materials.

Since the business has no trade receivables, Arbuthnot Commercial ABL structured an innovative inventory-only facility both in support of the buyout and to provide ongoing headroom to help fuel the company’s ambitious plans for growth. The transaction was sponsored by Panoramic Private Equity.

Founded by James Hickman, Plumbworld started selling bathroom products online in October 1999. Since then it has served over one million consumers and trade customers from its customer support team, warehouse operation and offices based in Evesham in Worcestershire and Colne in Lancashire. Having originally sold the business to Grafton Group, Hickman subsequently led the buy-back of the company.

Andrew Rutherford, Commercial Director, Arbuthnot Commercial ABL, said:

“Plumbworld is a great British business and we are delighted to support James and his management team with a facility that has been designed exclusively around the needs of the business and its principal assets. Today, above all, businesses need to be adaptive and so do their lenders through building additional flexibility into solutions that help their clients meet their challenges and opportunities with equal resolve.”

James Hickman, Managing Director, Plumbworld, said:

“Of the lenders we saw, the Arbuthnot Commercial ABL team came across as the most focused and by far the most interested in the business. Right from the outset the senior decision-makers at Arbuthnot Commercial ABL took the time to get to know us in order to structure the right deal against a drop-dead completion date and nailed the delivery.”

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