Family-owned tanker group secures ‘game-changing’ acquisition with £4.1m funding

19 January 2018

Universal Tanker Group has acquired Waters Waste Services, fuelled by a £4.1m funding deal from Shawbrook Bank arranged by PMD Business Finance. 

The deal released additional funding to acquire the business, together with valuable ongoing working capital to enable the group to meet its growth aspirations.

Founded by Simon Gunn in Warrington a decade ago, Universal Tanker Group developed from Simon’s expertise in on-site welfare units and welfare unit hire. The company grew quickly, winning a wide range of commercial and residential clients, including prestigious annual events such as the Grand National, the Cheshire Show and several RHS shows, such as Tatton and Chatsworth.

Waters Waste Services ran a parallel business in Yorkshire, with depots distributed around the country. Both companies specialised in the emptying and servicing of domestic and commercial septic tanks and the delivery of non-potable water.

Simon Gunn, managing director of Universal Tanker Group, said: “This acquisition is the business opportunity of a lifetime, a real game-changer. It is exactly what we needed for the business and will dramatically expand the group’s national reach and presence.”

He added: “I bought my first tanker ten years ago. From that humble start, we grew strongly because we take business personally. Ours is a family business and that tradition is strengthened further with our acquisition of Waters Waste Services. PMD Business Finance and Shawbrook Bank both share our view and ethos that good business is personal.”

Richard Fothergill, business development director of PMD Business Finance, said: “Having dealt with Shawbrook Bank for the last two years, I was fully aware of their entrepreneurial approach to structure a deal beyond conventional asset finance. I have a long established working relationship with Simon and Toby Gunn, having sourced finance for a number of tankers and plant for the business over the last 10 years. For this acquisition, I knew their funding requirement was more than just a conventional re-finance, and called upon Shawbrook Bank for its support in developing a structured funding solution, including invoice discounting and asset finance facilities, and a cash flow loan. This resulted in Shawbrook maximising the availability of funding by structuring a comprehensive £4.1m funding package."

Jonathan Rostron, regional managing director, Yorkshire and the North East at Shawbrook Bank, said: “We are delighted to be working with Universal Tanker Group for three reasons. Firstly, it is a business that is clearly going places. The recent acquisition brings together two complementary family businesses to create a group that offers a strong national presence. Secondly, this was our first deal for our new regional office and as such, becomes an important part of the growing Shawbrook Bank story in the region. Thirdly, it exemplifies perfectly why our personal relationship-based approach to business is as important as ever – because it never went out of fashion.”

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