Praetura provides £5.1m to support management buy-in at Vac-Ex Hire

Praetura has provided £5.1m of funding to support serial entrepreneur Dan Bown on his successful management buy-in of Vac-Ex Hire, a specialist plant hire provider to the construction sector.

Based in Armthorpe, Doncaster, Vac-Ex provides commercial hire services to support civil engineering and construction projects. To date, Vac-Ex has supported a number of large-scale projects across the UK, including Battersea Power Station, Edinburgh Tram System, Sheffield Canal and Greater Manchester Rail.

Founded in 1993, the business specialises in deploying innovative vacuum excavation units to support more efficient and environmentally-friendly construction. Vac-Ex’s excavation technology allows for safe excavation around buried utilities, avoiding damage to complex underground plumbing and electrical networks.

Three businesses across Praetura Group’s lending division – Praetura Commercial Finance, Praetura Asset Finance and Kingsway Finance – collaborated to provide £5.1m of funding to help finance the purchase, as well as prepare for future expansion. Praetura’s solution included invoice discounting, plant and machinery term loans, asset refinance and government-backed RLS funding.

The new owner now plans to scale the company through further acquisitions and organic growth as the market matures.Dan Bown said: “The Praetura team spent time to understand the business. They think like an entrepreneur, not like a bank. Speaking directly with decision-makers was refreshing and a crucial factor in maintaining the momentum to the deal. After considering a wide variety of lenders, I chose Praetura for the team’s ability to quickly grasp my vision for the company and for their efficient delivery.

“The transaction took just over six months, but the Praetura team supported us throughout the whole process. We’ve got big plans for the future and it’s great to have a flexible finance partner who can meet a number of our needs.”

Peadar O’Reilly, managing director of Praetura’s Lending Division added: “This is another great example of the way teams across Praetura’s lending division are able to work together to provide multi-faceted funding solutions and in this case the very best solution for Vac-Ex’s future.

“The funding we offer is based on the relationships we build. The team believe in his vision and we’re excited to support his plans for the company’s next chapter.”

Through its lending division, which comprises Praetura Asset Finance, Praetura Commercial Finance, Praetura Invoice Finance and Kingsway Finance, Praetura offers SMEs an alternative to traditional institutional lenders. It supports clients across almost every sector, providing funds between £5,000 to £20m to help businesses meet their own strategic objectives, and grew its loan book to £200m in 2021.

The Praetura Group now employs more than 130 people across four offices in the North West.