Beringea provides £4.75m to Advent-backed firm

Advent-backed pharma company SEP has secured growth debt finance from Beringea.

UK-based Beringea Growth Finance has provided £4.75 million (€6.1 million; $7.2 million) in venture debt to Speciality European Pharma Limited, a urology company, according to a statement.

The financing has a four year maturity, Mark Taylor, head of Beringea Growth Finance, told PDI. It is the third debt transaction the Beringea has carried out since Taylor joined in September 2013 to oversee a new debt-based growth finance business.

The transaction also includes an equity component in the form of a variable exit fee somewhat like a warrant, Taylor explained. “It provides a small upside if the business is sold or floated,” he added.

SEP, backed by main investor private equity firm Advent, is a speciality pharmaceutical company focused on products aimed largely at the urology or urogynaecology markets, primarily in Europe.

Patrick Banks, chief executive of SEP, said in a statement: “The finance provided by Beringea Growth Finance will enable SEP to consolidate its position as a leading pan European speciality urology company and support us in future growth. We are very pleased to be working with Mark Taylor and the team at Beringea, who have extensive experience of our sector and of working with private equity backed businesses. The investment process was refreshingly clear and efficient and we look forward to working in partnership.”

Taylor is a pioneer in European venture finance, having been a founding partner of EVP, Europe’s first venture debt business for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in 1998. Throughout his 17-year career in the sector he has provided almost £160 million of debt finance to more than 65 companies.

Under his stewardship, Beringea completed its first transaction in May 2014, providing £1.2 million in financing to Peerius, a retail data analytics company. This was followed by a second transaction in September 2014, with data trading software company Celoxica securing £1.5 million from the manager. 

Beringea’s London office manages three funds including two large Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) called ProVen VCTs. The funds allocate to private equity primarily but also allow for debt investment. The firm also has an office in Michigan, USA.

Beringea Growth Finance, described as an asset based and working capital finance provider, is targeting investments of between £1 million and £5 million across Europe over repayment periods of two to four years. The firm’s strategy is sector agnostic but its investment roots lie historically in media, healthcare and retail.