Newcastle firm UNW close three deals in a week

Dealmakers at Newcastle-based UNW have secured three deals for North East firms in the last week

Left to right: Alan Suggett, Mark Simpson, Simon Richards and Neville Bearpark
Left to right: Alan Suggett, Mark Simpson, Simon Richards and Neville Bearpark

Dealmakers at Newcastle-based business advisers and chartered accountants UNW brought three deals to close this week.

UNW experts in corporate finance, audit, tax and from the Newcastle firm’s dental business unit, worked on the trio of deals to buy a roofing company and raise funds for both a fast-expanding national dental chain and a long established energy services business.

St. James’ Boulevard-based UNW assisted Tyneside heating, insulation and renewable energy business KNW to secure £400,000 of development capital to target new markets.

KNW, which has grown its business off the back of government home efficiency contracts in recent years, will use the cash from business investor NEL to diversify into the business-to-consumer market, selling its insulation and boilers into the “able to pay” market, rather than those who rely on grants to make their homes more energy efficient.

This latest boost is the third round of funding which UNW has helped the 34-year-old business obtain, building on a long standing relationship between the firm and the investors and directors of KNW.

UNW senior corporate finance manager Mark Simpson said: “KNW was an existing UNW client which recognised our expertise in different areas to help them raise this latest round of finance.

“KNW is the North-East’s oldest and biggest independent energy services company, working in over a quarter of a million homes to install insulation, efficient central heating and a range of new, renewable technologies.

“We wish them every success as they continue to grow this long established business by establishing themselves as a key player in new markets.”

Meanwhile, UNW also assisted County Durham-based national dental franchising group Dentist Direct to secure substantial external investment.

UNW’s specialist dental business unit helped it get the go ahead for “a potentially unlimited credit line” from Yorkshire Bank to fund future acquisitions. At the same time, UNW’s corporate finance team worked with NEL Fund Managers to bring in a £400,000 cash injection from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund.

The finance package will allow Durham-headquartered Dentist Direct to speed up its roll out of franchises by helping more associates to take on their first practice and existing owners wishing to benefit from extensive back office support.

Dentist Direct, whose company strap line is ‘the dentist for people who don’t like dentist’, was formed two years ago after carrying out market research into what patients said they want from their dental practice.

The research found that patients wanted exceptional customer service, convenient car parking, extended opening hours, no drills or injections, and a pleasant ambiance. These all rated alongside cost, clinical excellence and a full range of treatments available without referral.

UNW dental business unit partner Alan Suggett said: “Dentist Direct has a substantially different offering to the traditional dentistry market model and is comparable with corporate franchise models such as Vets 4 Pets, which has had considerable success setting up from scratch on prominent arterial roads with good parking and lots of passing trade.

“For this finance package we were able to draft in our corporate finance team to secure some good, strong working capital via NEL to run alongside a potentially unlimited credit line from Yorkshire Bank to fund future acquisitions, which is particularly exciting.

“This really does mean that the sky is the limit for growing this business and we look forward to working with the Dentist Direct management team as they leverage the growth potential.”

While the two fund raisings were underway, UNW tax partner Simon Richards was advising North East entrepreneur David Tilley, the founder of former roofing company D W Tilley, on the acquisition of the longest established roofing and cladding contractor in the North East.

The Citygate company assisted Tilley, who came out of retirement to do the deal, to buy £3.3m turnover Birtley-based Mitrepoint, which trades as Roofclad Systems.

It is hoped Roofclad Systems, which already employs 44 staff, could create up to 12 more jobs.

UNW partner Simon Richards said: “David knows the roofing contracting business better than anyone in the region, and was extremely successful in developing his previous company DW Tilley into a major national outfit. He sees the potential for Roofclad and we are delighted that we have been able to assist him with the acquisition of the business”.

David Tilley said: “I heard about the opportunity through industry contacts and could not turn down the chance.

“While Roofclad is trading strongly with some good contracts, I will be reviewing every aspect of its operations in the short to medium term. My first priority is to stabilise the business and after that, we can look at reorganisation before embarking on an expansion programme.”

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