Nov 2012 – GCP backs etc.venues in its third investment in six months
GCP backs etc.venues in its third investment in six months
Business plans to open further new venues in next five years
London 30 November 2012. GCP, the provider of blended equity and debt to the UK’s small to medium sized businesses, today announced its third investment in six months in etc.venues, one of the UK’s market leading conference and training venue businesses. The investment will fund further acquisitions and enable the business to deliver on its UK growth plans, as well as exploring expansion into international markets. etc.venues intends to open at least eight new venues in the next five years.
This follows GCP’s recent investments in Iglu.com and Excelsior Technologies.
etc.venues was founded in 1992, pioneering dedicated training venues in London. Alastair Stewart led the management buy-in of etc.venues in 2006 and has been instrumental in accelerating the growth of the business, which now operates twelve venues across London and Birmingham.
Since 2006, sales have increased from £9 million to £22 million and EBITDA has grown from £2 million to more than £5 million. GCP is taking a significant stake in the business and will join the board.
James Blake, partner at GCP, said:
“etc.venues is an impressive business that has continued to grow throughout the downturn and has capitalised on the structural movement in the UK market from residential to non-residential training. The business has continually shown strong revenues and resilient operating margins and has a highly capable management team that is driving expansion.
“This is our third investment in six months and supports our ongoing strategy of backing some of the very best UK businesses with our flexible funding structures in order to support them in the next phase of their growth.
“We recognised that this was an attractive opportunity to support a hugely experienced and proven team led by managing director Alastair Stewart and finance director Paul Keen, in a secondary buyout of the business and to provide additional equity to facilitate further growth. Our flexible funding will give etc.venues additional firepower to make acquisitions and expand throughout the UK and internationally.”
Alastair Stewart, managing director of etc.venues said:
“I am delighted to welcome GCP as new investors for the business. GCP will provide the new investment we need to execute an ambitious plan to keep expanding the business and to build upon our leading market position.”