New funding to support ownership and growth

Alternative SME credit specialist Caple has helped Ornate Gardens, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-end garden pods, get a £1.75m unsecured loan.

Ornate Gardens will use the loan to support its next phase of growth. The finance will enable sales director Richard Hill and operations director Mike Hales to invest in the business and join managing director Wayne Farmer as shareholders.

SMEs such as Ornate Gardens often have difficulties raising money without having the assets to put up as security to banks. That could mean they instead have to make personal guarantees or dilute their ownership by issuing equity.

Caple is the UK’s first firm to provide access to unsecured lending based on the future cash flows. It requires no collateral or personal guarantees as security. Loans originated through Caple also work alongside existing bank lending, meaning firms can have access to more funding than they would get from their bank alone.

Caple originates loans through a local partner network of accountancy and business advisory firms. Jenny Moore, corporate finance director, at Dains Accountants, supported Ornate Gardens.

Dominic Buch, managing partner and co-founder of Caple, said: “Options for unsecured debt are limited in the UK. While the funding banks can provide reflects the tangible assets in a business, they can’t help if a business has no further assets to use as collateral.

“In an asset-light economy such as the UK, this creates a barrier to growth and may push businesses to issue equity instead of raising debt. Ornate Gardens could not raise any further finance against the collateral they have. Our deal demonstrates how we are able to support ambitious SMEs with long-term flexible finance for growth and ownership.”

Wayne Farmer, managing director of Ornate Gardens, said: “I am very excited about the future of Ornate Gardens and I am looking forward to building the business further alongside Richard and Mike. We have a lot of exciting plans which will enables us to grow and develop some new and exciting products.”

Founded by Wayne Farmer, Ornate Garden’s designs and manufactures high end garden buildings (or pods), first launched at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2007.

Ornate Gardens, based in Maxstoke just outside Birmingham, now offers a range of nine pods with bespoke interiors. The futuristic pods are made from spruce timber arcs with a stainless-steel exterior.

The pods include luxury seating, ambient interior lighting and can be equipped with heating. They come in a range of sizes and the largest pod can seat up to 12 people. Ornate Gardens sells direct to consumers online, through trade shows and through a range of stockists including John Lewis.

The loans Caple facilitates are part of BNP Paribas Asset Management’s SME Alternative Financing direct lending platform, which enables SMEs to access funding from institutional investors. BNP Paribas Asset Management aims to provide €1bn per year in funding to SMEs across Europe.

Jenny Moore, corporate finance director at Dains, who advised Ornate Gardens, said: “Ornate Gardens have a great product range and have developed a real niche in the sector. The growth of the company has been built on a reputation for delivering high quality products to their customers. The team are now in a great position to push on and growth the business further.”

Caple worked alongside Barclays Bank that provided a working capital facility.

Author: Yash Hirani

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