Vasanta Group, the parent company behind some of the largest office suppliers in the UK, has been saved from insolvency by a combined private equity and bank-backed takeover. Private equity group Endless provided £22 million while banks including Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks, agreed to swap 75% of Vasanta’s debt for equity in the business. Endless, the "turnaround" specialist, will take a 71% stake in the business, with 29% held by the key banks in Vasanta’s lending syndicate as well as providing £8m in fresh funds. The refinancing also secures the future of some 1,500 jobs. The 500m-turnover company is one of Sheffield’s largest private employers.
Vasanta’s brands – also preserved by the deal – include Vow, Supplies Team and ISA Retail. Garry Wilson, managing partner of Leeds-based Endless, explained Vasanta’s recent difficulties in the context of the combined effects of recession and the credit crunch.
“It is a well run, profitable business which was coping with the economic downturn,” he said. “But then credit insurers withdrew cover which immediately caused a cash outflow from the group of over £30m.”