Shard Credit Partners has announced the completion of the management buy-outs (MBO’s) of both BW Legal Services and PRAC Financial by Rachael Withers, COO and co-founder of both businesses.

Shard Credit Partners acted as exclusive financing provider, underwriting £13.5 million of committed senior secured unitranche facilities to complete the two deals.  The innovative financing structure has enabled the simultaneous refinancing, recapitalisation and shareholder re-organisation of the Group, whilst also providing committed acquisition firepower to grow the businesses.

BW Legal was originally founded in 2009 by Rachael Withers and Sean Barton and is the UK’s largest independent law firm specialising in debt recovery services. BW Legal is dual regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) and the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority (“SRA”).

The Group is based in Leeds, West Yorkshire and employs around 250 staff.  BW Legal acts as a one-stop-shop for high volume debt collection and litigation, focussed on delivering market-leading recovery solutions in an ethical and fair manner to clients in both the highly regulated consumer debt sector as well as the traditional commercial debt sector. Clients range from established sectors such as debt purchasers, financial services, private parking, commercial and energy.  PRAC is an FCA regulated debt purchase vehicle that acquires portfolios of non-performing consumer and commercial debt.

Withers is one of the first ever non-lawyer owners of a debt recovery and litigation law firm.  She has been responsible for running some of the largest collection and litigation projects in both the commercial and consumer credit environments, including one of largest insolvency collect-outs in British corporate history for the administrators on Entertainment UK, a group company of Woolworth Group that had syndicated lenders funding aged debtors with a value in excess of £360 million at the time of administration.

Shard Credit Partners has now completed three investments from its inaugural fund, with its second and third investments both completing on the same day.  In addition to the simultaneous MBOs of both BWL and PRAC in Leeds, Shard Credit Partners also completed and funded the MBO of GadCap by its senior management team in Newcastle.

Greg Lomas, CIO of Shard Credit Partners said “Completing two, let alone three MBOs in one day is a first for us, we very much look forward to completing our fourth investment in the coming weeks.  Following these investments, Shard Credit Partners Fund I will be around one-third deployed.”