HIG arranges unitranche for Steelite

HIG Capital’s credit affiliate has provided a £29m unitranche loan to the UK-based tableware company.

HIG Whitehorse has arranged a £29 million (€35 million; $48 million) unitranche financing package to support the refinancing of Steelite International Holdings.

Lloyds Banking Group is understood to have provided part of the financing alongside HIG Whitehorse.

Steelite, which provides tableware to the international hospitality industry, is being refinanced by its management who are taking full ownership of the company. The financing package will also be used to help the company build on its current market position”, HIG Whitehorse said in a statement confirming the deal.

The company was founded in 1983 using the assets from Royal Doulton’s hospitality tableware division. LDC, the in-house private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, bought into the company in 2002, before Bank of Scotland later secured a minority stake in the business in 2006 as part of a £43 million secondary buyout that allowed LDC to cash out its stake.

Reports suggest Steelite was part of the Bank of Scotland portfolio acquired by Coller Capital in 2010 via Cavendish Square Partners.

Richard Poole, finance director at Steelite, said in a statement: “HIG WhiteHorse demonstrated a high degree of flexibility and pragmatism in providing us with a solution that suited our requirements.”

Haseeb Aziz, managing director at HIG WhiteHorse, added: “Steelite is a successful UK manufacturing business run by an experienced management team.  We are pleased to provide a flexible financing solution to support the company in the next stage of its growth and support management to take full ownership of their company.”

The deal is HIG Whitehorse’s third financing transaction completed in the UK in the last 12 months.