AFA International, a UK market leader in forensic science services and international aid project delivery, is set for further growth-by-acquisition after securing a £10.25m financing from Shawbrook.
The London-headquartered firm, which has operations in Swindon, Oxford and Coventry, has been growing rapidly since formation in 2020.
It has achieved market leading status in the UK criminal justice sector through acquiring and integrating businesses with complementary solutions and expertise.
The £10.25m funding package will support further bolt-on acquisitions of smaller, already identified complementary businesses as well as the refinance of an existing loan.
Shawbrook’s Financial Sponsor team supported AFA International with the bespoke £10.25m debt package, including a unitranche facility, acquisition loan and RCF to provide additional working capital headroom.
James Paget, founding partner of Limerston Capital, said:
“AFA International is a fantastic business and one that has the potential to continue disrupting its sector.
“The debt facilities from Shawbrook will support the partial refinance of recent acquisitions and enable both organic and acquisitive growth in the coming months.
“We know the team at Shawbrook well having worked with them on similar transactions in the past. They are a true specialist in their field, placing great emphasis on really getting to know the businesses they lend to. For us, we are keen to deepen relations with them as a go-to debt partner across similar transactions.”
“Shawbrook’s certainty and speed of delivery allowed the financing to be completed within and despite a tight timescale. We look forward to working with them more closely in the future.”
AFA International was launched following an MBO of platform businesses Forensic Access Ltd and Axiom International Ltd in September, 2020. The merger brought together two leading providers in the UK criminal justice space to create a transformational business in a highly fragmented market.
AFA International is backed by Limerston Capital, a London-based operationally focused, buy-and-build specialist private equity house. To date, AFA International has completed four acquisitions in the form of Alecto Forensic Services, IntaForensics, Axiom International and Torchlight Group.
After securing finance from Shawbrook, AFA is now preparing further acquisitions as it looks to grow the business further and cement its positioning in the UK criminal justice space.
Jennifer Murray, Relationship Director at Shawbrook said:
“AFA is a first mover consolidator in the criminal justice and forensic services space, bringing together a unique proposition that combines market-leading specialist expertise and a highly-respected and experienced management team.
“Under the ownership of Limerston Capital, it is evident the focus on financial performance and professional integration is starting to pay dividends for the business. In getting to know the business, we have seen first-hand that Limerston are a hands-on, supportive sponsor. They have a low volume, concentrated investment strategy, dedicating significant resources to each portfolio company which can only be a positive for AFA International’s future aspirations.”