Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance has provided a £5m working capital facility to support Rcapital in its acquisition of leading local newspaper publisher, Archant Community Media Ltd.
Archant, founded in 1845, is the UK’s fourth biggest local newspaper publisher. It has more than 140 local, regional and national brands, alongside a fully-integrated marketing function, which services more than 37,000 commercial customers. Its largest titles, Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times, boast more 36,000 readers in total each day.
The funding has been used to support the acquisition, as well as fund the completion of a CVA to restructure the firm’s pension scheme. Like many other organisations across the sector, the business was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The business found itself under financial pressure, which was compounded by the deficit in its pension scheme, and the longer-term funding requirements necessary to meet the scheme contributions.
This £5m flexible facility, which was approved within just one week due to Secure Trust Bank’s unique credit committee, was essential in supporting the acquisition by Rcapital and the resultant restructuring and capital injection.
Throughout the process there has been no interruption to publishing and the business continues to operate as before.
Matt Broomfield, Regional Sales Director at Secure Trust Bank Commercial Finance said, “Having worked with the team at Rcapital for a number of years, we used our strong relationships to support this deal. Archant has a fantastic heritage and management team behind it and has shown enormous resilience in the face of recent financial uncertainty. The flexible funding facility we have provided will enable Archant to strengthen its finances and help Rcapital achieve its growth plans.”
Chris Campbell, Partner at Rcapital added,“We are extremely proud to have worked closely with Archant’s management team, Secure Trust Bank and KPMG to put forward a plan that will restructure finances and inject fresh capital into one of Britain’s oldest local newspaper brands. The history and heritage behind Archant is very impressive and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the management team to strengthen the business in the coming years.”