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Deals of the Year 2018: Fastway raises €14m to fund growth spurred by innovative internet shopping solution    
The winning 'Deal of the Year' in the 'Loans & Financing SME 'category is the provision of €14 million of growth capital facilities to Fastway Couriers in April 2017. Fastway is an innovative SME which has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2001 and today employs 550 people nationwide. Its growth has been spurred by a solution that guarantees delivery to the target in online shopping and now delivers over 15 million parcels a year. It has also attracted private equity investment.
Fastway has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2001 spurred by the needs of its retailer customers. It now delivers over 15 million parcels per annum.

Through a competitive debt selection process undertaken on behalf of the company, Mazars Corporate Finance selected AIB Corporate Banking as the sole banker to provide debt facilities to support existing management in providing an exit for the original shareholders. At the same time MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland also made an investment in the rapidly growing Irish business.

The debt package proposed by AIB was aligned to the strategic objectives of the existing shareholders, the new shareholder (MML) and the ambitious plans of the existing management to grow the business. It includes a combination of term debt, overdraft and leasing.

John Bowe, partner Mazars said, 'Mazars advised the Shareholders and Management on the sale of the business. It was about getting a fair value for shareholders while at the same time getting a partner on board who was the potential in the business and team could work with. We ran a competitive process with interest from both Irish and UK private equity. MML Ireland acquired the business with management and it will be exciting to see the business develop and grow over the next few years.' He added that the transaction was a 6 month process.

Stuart Muldowney, Senior Relationship Manager, AIB Corporate Banking, highlighted the key challenges faced by the AIB team to deliver a funding solution which supported the investment by MML Growth Capital Partners and Fastway’s existing management team led by Bobby O’Keeffe. 'The e-commerce retail space is fast moving and rapidly changing; it was therefore critical that we quickly grasped the relative complexities of the business model and industry dynamics to ensure we could meet the tight deadlines and allow a smooth transition from initial meet with stakeholders to credit approval and funding,' he said.

Legal advisors on the deal were William Fry for AIB and Byrne Wallace for Fastway Couriers. PwC undertook due diligence on behalf of MML Capital.

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