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Rebecca Wayman

Funding set to support London research agency with acquisition

Allternative SME credit specialist Caple has supported market research agency IFF Research with a fully unsecured loan over a five-year term.

IFF Research will use the loan to acquire Voluntas, another research agency. IFF Research expects to grow from around £8m in turnover now to more than £12m in the next financial year, as a result of both the purchase of Voluntas and organic growth.

SMEs, like IFF Research, reportedly have difficulties raising money without assets to put up as security to banks. This means they often have to turn to personal guarantees or diluting their ownership by issuing equity.

Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner of Caple, said: “In an asset-light sector such as market research, funding options for acquisitions are extremely rare. This creates a barrier to growth and may push businesses to issue equity instead of raising debt.

“Our deal shows how we can help SMEs with strong management and cashflows, such as IFF Research, achieve their gaols while retaining full control of their business.”

Caple is the first in the UK to offer access to unsecured lending based on the future cash flows of the SME. The business requires no collateral or personal guarantees as security. Caple loans complement existing bank lending.

Caple originates loans through a local partner network of accountancy and business advisory firms. Brett Stacey from Assay Corporate Finance advised IFF Research.

Jan Shury, managing director of IFF Research, added: “IFF Research helps both public and private sector organisations to make more informed decisions.

“The deal with Caple and the purchase of Voluntas enables us to enhance this capability and provide expertise on the UK housing market.

“This is our first acquisition and both Caple and our advisers, Assay Corporate Finance, ensured the deal was smooth and that our acquisition was a success.

“As important, the unsecured nature of the loan means our directors did not have to dilute our ownership in the business by giving up equity to complete this acquisition.”

Established in 1965, IFF Research is a full-service research agency with a track record of delivering high-quality strategic research for both the public and private sector.

IFF Research will use the purchase of Voluntas to supports its ambition of getting into the housing sector and creating a larger and more diversified business.

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