Castle director, Stuart Stepney, attended the Insider Media South East Business Lending Roundtable, an interesting and lively discussion on how businesses can manage debt and invest post-Brexit. Some of Stuart’s thoughts are below.
“For many of the owner managers I see, those that are domestic businesses and are thriving in their own right, they are absolutely up for what will happen post-Brexit and are ready for it. Others are a little more cautious and are waiting to see what will happen. We had the oil and gas crisis at the beginning of the year which affected different sectors, and now we’ve had the EU referendum result and some deals have been more tricky to complete. I think the UK and Europe is still seen as a safe haven, especially as far as UK buyers are concerned. 2008 was a dark time for the economy because the financing tap was turned off and this had a much greater impact on things than the Brexit vote has. The big change for us this year has been the maturing market for growth capital and the Business Growth Fund has been very successful. The owner managers that I talk to are not talking about the living wage or currency or even Brexit; as entrepreneurs they are focused on strategic options and how to translate these into viable corporate finance transactions. There are different funding options available today but one of the biggest challenges is getting clients to understand the cost of borrowing on facilities such as mezzanine finance.”