Liverpool’s Very Group gets Carlyle, IMI funding package

Liverpool-based online retail and financial services firm The Very Group, owned by the Barclay family, announced it has agreed a new long-term partnership with investment firm Carlyle and Abu Dhabi-based international investment house IMI to support its growth strategy.

“The partnership includes a £125m funding package, of which c.£85m, provided by Carlyle Global Credit, is immediately available for use by the company,” said The Very Group.

“As part of today’s agreement, Carlyle and IMI will each take a seat on The Very Group board.

“As a result, the group will benefit from the long-term support of two world-class institutions, including their deep network of relationships, industry expertise and capabilities.”

The Very Group also published its second quarter results, with robust festive sales driving a resilient performance, including Very UK revenue growth of 2.7% to £1.058 billion.

Very Finance revenue increased 2.7% to £216.4 million, supported by average group debtor book growth of 3.1% and Very UK debtor book growth of 5.5%.

Pre-exceptional EBITDA increased 10.1% on the prior year to £130.7 million, with an improved current year gross margin due to a strong Very Finance contribution.

Following two years in the role and having reached the end of his contract term, Dirk Van den Berghe has stepped down as non-executive chair to focus on his other non-executive roles as well as new opportunities. A search for a new non-executive chair is underway.

As a representative of the Barclay family in The Very Group, Aidan Barclay will assume the role of non-executive chair of the group until an appointment has been made.

Aidan Barclay said: “Carlyle and IMI provide the support of two long-term, experienced institutional sponsors that understand our business extremely well.

“Their commitment underlines the confidence they have in the Group, and their contribution to the Board will be invaluable as we look to the future.

“I would like to thank Dirk Van den Berghe for his stewardship during his time as Chair and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Taj Sidhu, Head of European and Asian Private Credit at Carlyle, said: “We are delighted to expand our relationship with The Very Group and, alongside IMI, support an important phase of growth for the company.

“We believe the group has a compelling and resilient business model and is well positioned for further growth in the coming years and we look forward to working closely with them.”

IMI CEO Rani R. Raad said: “We are very pleased to partner with The Very Group as it embarks on its next phase of growth.

“Together with Carlyle, we look forward to working closely with them as they deliver against their strategic objectives and growth ambitions.”