Shepherd Group goes for growth after securing £50m funding package

YORKSHIRE’S biggest family-owned firm is poised for growth after securing a £50m funding deal.

The York-based Shepherd Group, whose UK and international interests include the Portakabin businesses and a range of construction, engineering and facilities management companies, has gained financial support from HSBC and Lloyds.

The deal sees HSBC’s corporate banking team in Yorkshire join with Lloyds Bank’s wholesale banking and markets team to co-arrange a £50m revolving credit facility to provide extra facilities in a new ‘club’ led by David Gregson, senior corporate banking manager in HSBC’s Yorkshire team and Andrew Aisthorpe, relationship director at Lloyds.

HSBC has also provided a £20m working capital facility.

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Shepherd Group chairman Alan Fletcher said yesterday: “This facility strengthens our financial position and demonstrates significant confidence in the potential of the group, providing us with additional flexibility and capacity for growth.”

Martin Lunt, HSBC’s head of corporate banking in Yorkshire, said: “While some businesses operating in the construction sector have experienced challenges in achieving growth through the recession, Shepherd Group has continued to thrive, demonstrating that a forward thinking approach can overcome barriers presented by market conditions.”

Steve Harris, area director for Lloyds Bank wholesale banking and markets in North and West Yorkshire, said: “Shepherd is one of the strongest and longest established corporates in the sector with a talented and highly-respected management team that has continued to drive growth and profitability in tough market conditions.

“The business epitomises the very best in British construction services and manufacturing expertise with a diverse offering and growing overseas operations.

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“It typifies the type of company which will drive our economic recovery and the kind which we’re committed to support- ing.”

Shepherd, which is one of the UK’s biggest family-owned businesses, started trading in 1890.

In its last financial year, the company recorded a 15 per cent rise in full year turnover to £607m, and it delivered an underlying pre-tax profit of £24m.