Buying a business

World of Books

Adviser to Bridges Ventures to support their investment into World of Books and Ziffit.

The deal

Our Corporate Finance team has successfully advised Bridges Ventures on a debt raise in support of their investment into A World of Buzz Limited, the parent company of World of Books (“WOB”) and Ziffit, backing the incumbent management team. The team helped Bridges and management raise in excess of £12 million of debt facilities through Clydesdale Bank to support the transaction.

WOB is the UK’s leading used book, DVD, CD and console game reseller. Founded in 2002, the business has been a pioneer in the reuse and recycling of books that might otherwise go to landfill. It purchases surplus books from charity shops, not only saving them waste disposal costs but also generating significant income (equivalent to an economic benefit of £11m in the last five years alone). In addition, through its proprietary Ziffit ‘scan and send’ app it collects unwanted books directly from consumers. After processing all these books on its internally developed technology platform, it re-sells as many as possible (via its own website and other marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay), and recycles the rest to make corrugated cardboard packaging and newsprint. This allows WOB to offer over two million high-quality, low-cost used books for sale – while also reducing carbon emissions.

Stephen Boobyer will lead this new chapter of the company’s growth as CEO. He will be supported by the existing management team, all of whom have rolled over part of their investment alongside the investment made by Bridges. Bridges Partner, Oliver Wyncoll, and Investment Director, James Hurrell, will join the Board, while an experienced Non-executive Chairman will also be appointed in due course.

“Bridges has typically not worked with debt advisers before, but in a complex transaction process the debt team’s thorough knowledge of the leveraged finance market place, coupled with their understanding of our requirements and clear communication from beginning to end has meant that we were able to focus on cultivating and delivering the wider deal. It also meant that we were able to dedicate more time throughout the transaction to developing the relationship with WOB’s management team and defining the forward business plan. Simon and Ian delivered an optimal debt package on market terms on time as well as smoothly handling the complexities of the banking compliance requirements, adding real value consistently through this busy process.” Oliver Wyncoll, Partner at Bridges Ventures.

“The debt advisory team ran an orderly and transparent process, providing good access to management and Bridges throughout. Their clear focus on the transaction priorities enabled completion within tight timescales.” Guy Stamp, Clydesdale.

“Many thanks to the team debt team for their advice and support throughout this process. Simon and Ian were with us every step of the way to ensure that the process ran smoothly and that we had a number of options available. Their knowledge of the market and expertise proved invaluable in helping to pull this deal together and ensuring that we achieved a great outcome.” Stephen Boobyer, Chief Executive Officer at WOB.

Deal summary

Sector:

Consumer, Retail and Leisure

Deal type:

Debt Advisory

Deal size:

Undisclosed

Bridges has typically not worked with debt advisors before, but in a complex transaction process the debt team’s thorough knowledge of the leveraged finance market place, coupled with their understanding of our requirements and clear communication from beginning to end has meant that we were able to focus on cultivating and delivering the wider deal. It also meant that we were able to dedicate more time throughout the transaction to developing the relationship with WoB’s management team and defining the forward business plan Oliver Wyncoll Partner at Bridges Ventures

Related team

Ian Milne

Ian Milne

  • Partner
  • Debt Advisory
  • London West End, Reading

Simon Sherliker

Simon Sherliker

  • Partner
  • Debt Advisory
  • London West End, Reading

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