One of Park’s longest standing clients is the UMC Group. UMC’s Managing Director, Nick Moss, explains, “Park have had a significant impact on our growth. They’re experts in dealing with financial institutions. Our main means of expansion is through acquisitions, and they really understand the inner working of these kinds of deals.”
Nick has grown his group of companies over the last 15 years, with the help of Park’s Managing Director, Jason Metcalf. Jason played an instrumental role in the acquisition and fundraising of four businesses for the UMC Group.
The first of these acquisitions was Ripmax Limited, the UK’s largest specialist distributor of remote control products. Park assisted in preparing the finance presentation and refining the business plan. Thanks to Park’s market insight, Jason was able to secure funding for the acquisition from a specialist source. This, along with Par’s expertise in structuring, negotiating and project managing acquisitions, enabled Nick to acquire Ripmax with relative ease.
Nick wanted to expand and acquire similar companies in his market sector. He targeted Amerang, a specialist distributor of collectable movie figurines and die cast cars, which had run into financial difficulties. Nick turned to Park for advice on acquiring distressed companies. Park’s expertise in this area proved invaluable when it came to sourcing finance and performing a successful business turnaround. Following this second acquisition, Park continued to fundraise for working and development capital when it was required.
Nick’s next step was to expand the Group into Europe. He asked Park to evaluate one of Europe’s largest remote control distributors, Robbe GMbH, which had run into financial difficulties. Jason Metcalf negotiated with the German administrator and the company’s key suppliers in Japan and Taiwan. Once again, Park was able to secure funding for the acquisition, meaning that the UMC Group was able to establish a Group presence in Germany.
Having successfully completed the expansion into Europe, Nick set his sights on the HPI Racing Group – a global manufacturer and distributor of radio-controlled hobby vehicles with operations all over the world. This was to be, by far, the most complex turnaround that Park had so far undertaken with Nick. While our primary role in any transaction is fundraising and acquisition advice, the scope of this task required a more hands-on approach.
HPI Racing had fallen into financial distress due to the actions of its principal shareholder. It required a vast amount of restructuring if things were to move forward. HPI Racing’s companies included a UK-based distribution operation, a manufacturing business in China, and a US-based distribution and design business.
Park’s first challenge was to advise on the funding and acquisition of the UK business from the administrator, and the financing and acquisitions of the US and Chinese businesses from the principal shareholder. Once the acquisitions were complete, the companies’ distressed positions presented a significant challenge. Nick therefore asked Jason Metcalf to take on a more intrinsic operational role.
Working alongside Nick, Jason made fundamental changes to the workings of the company, visiting and negotiating with suppliers and manufacturers across the Far East on numerous occasions and implementing major operational restructuring. Park led the setup of a new Chinese factory, overseeing the hiring of staff and working with sub-vendors to ensure a cost-effective operation that would not sacrifice quality. We also advised on the set up of a new Taiwanese supply chain.
To ensure the successful resurrection of HPI Racing, Park not only utilised our skill sets in distressed acquisitions and extensive fundraising – we helped to change the face of the business from the ground up – going beyond our traditional role in corporate finance and seeing the deal through to the end.
HPI Racing is now proving to be a valuable addition to the UMC Group and Nick is considering what’s next for the Group. He’s quick to acknowledge the role Park has played in the Group’s success, “Jason’s a very sharp guy, very intelligent. Without his input, I think life would be very difficult!”