It’s GO for own brand growth

Go Outdoors.  Go Outdoors Hill Street , Bramall Lane . John Graham.
Go Outdoors. Go Outdoors Hill Street , Bramall Lane . John Graham.
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GO Outdoors has got a further boost for its ambitious expansion plans.

The Sheffield-based leading UK outdoor clothing and equipment firm, which secured a £28 million investment from 3i last month, has tied up a £30 million re-financing deal with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets in Sheffield that gives it £12.2 million of additional funding to grow its Hi gear, North Ridge and Freedom Trail own brands.

The group, which is based just off Bramall Lane and has 30 superstores, with plans to open a further 10, originally negotiated credit facilities in 2008 when it had only seven stores.

David Hunt, relationship director for Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets in Sheffield, said: “GO Outdoors has outperformed growth forecasts year after year and we are delighted to be able to continue supporting its expansion plans.

“It is a real success story for Sheffield. GO Outdoors has created a unique customer offer across the UK. The management team led by John Graham is highly driven and has a real commitment to quality and service, which has been demonstrated by strong customer support for its own brand products.”

Lloyds says renegotiating the finance package a year before existing facilities were due to end is an example of best business practice by the GO Outdoors management team and would enable the group to meet customer demand for its own brand products, in addition to helping it to introduce new lines and work with suppliers to continue its successful expansion policy.

Lloyds was advised by the Sheffield office of Hill Dickinson, and John Dewhirst of Yorkshire-based financial analysts Vincere, while GO Outdoors was advised by accountants PwC and lawyers Pannone.

GO Outdoors’ chief financial officer, David Hanney, said: “We are very pleased with the support given to us by the Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets team in Sheffield, and especially the trade finance support. Being able to call on such specialist, local knowledge has been a real benefit.”

GO Outdoors was named one of the three fastest growing private equity-backed companies in the UK earlier this year.

The founders management and YFM Equity Partners continue to hold significant stakes in the company following 3i’s investment.