Finance deal rescues major office supplier

21 July 2009

22 July 2009 | Jake Kanter

One of the UK's biggest office product suppliers has been saved from the brink of collapse after securing a £30 million cash investment.

Vasanta Group, whose subsidiaries include Supplies Team and VOW, said the deal was "excellent news" for customers and suppliers, who would not be affected by the changes.

Private equity firm Endless will take a 71 per cent stake in the firm, with the remaining 29 per cent held by key banks in the company's lending syndicate. Vasanta's outstanding bank borrowings will be reduced from £200 million to £50 million as part of the package.

"Our new strong balance sheet now contains a sustainable and manageable level of debt appropriate to today's circumstances, and puts us in a far more secure financial position than many of our competitors," said Vasanta CEO Richard Martin.

Earlier this month the Sunday Telegraph suggested the firm had lined up an administrator after its key suppliers had credit insurance withdrawn (Web news, 7 July).

The Sheffield-based firm competes with foreign-owned multinationals such as Staples, Office Depot and Lyreco. Computer and printer supplier ISA - one arm of Vasanta - counts Tesco, Sainsbury's and Boots among its customers.

SMjul2009

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