Round-Up: June 2023’s Top Picks

June Roundup 2023

June was a record month for the commercial team, who successfully handled a variety of challenging and diverse deals.

The ‘shortlist’ is long as a result, but we wanted to share this variety with everyone to highlight that there is generally a solution to every challenge. Great work from all the team, with incredible support from our Funding partners.

Residential Development | Construction | £1,037,440

The client owns a mixed-use property in a prominent location in Cardiff. Planning permission was approved to demolish the rear and construct 12 residential units. The client had existing finance on the property that needed to be cleared, so they were looking at 60% of the valuation on Day 1 with 100% of the build costs funded in arrears.

As the clients were experienced within the sector, we were able to source funding for the full amount required at cost-effective rates. The funder worked closely with the clients and ourselves to ensure that the facility was approved and put in place within the client’s required time frame.

The client is already working on the planning for the next 2 projects, and due to the relationship built up with the funder, they have confidence in obtaining funding moving forward.

Bridging Loan | £877,000

The client has previously been a very successful, busy woman within the childcare industry. Two Years ago, she sold her care business and decided to retire. However, retirement wasn’t for her, and she wanted to re-enter the market.

She located a suitable property with planning permission to convert it into a residential care home for children. She needed funds to purchase and convert the property.

Across 2 loans and 2 properties, we arranged a refurbishment bridging loan, which gave the client sufficient funds to acquire the property and funds to carry out the conversion. Alongside this, we have reached a credit-backed offer with a high-street bank that will re-mortgage the bridging loan once the conversion is complete.

Leverage Funding | Technology | £750,000

The Clients are an award-winning technology consultancy providing excellent products and services to clients that include NatWest and ESure, and more recently, they were in the news as a delivery partner for the domestic abuse app MYNARA.

The company is on a High Growth Trajectory and already has an agile team of over 100 world-class engineers and data scientists who are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with data, software, cloud, and machine learning (AI). They are the UK’s fastest-growing data solutions consultancy, projecting 66% YOY growth in 2022 and 245% YOY growth in 2021. With this growth came the challenge of managing cash flow and the inevitable pressures this growth would create.

Chris Searson of Citizen, a strategic funding consultancy, and Ian Pottle of Cornerstone Finance worked closely to review the plan and seek soundings from various funders.

Following initial discussions, we engaged with Robert Hulse, Head of Channel Development at SME Capital. The deal was unusually complex, and to achieve it, we had to prove Bigspark’s sales forecasts to satisfy SME Capital’s criteria and to make them confident that extraordinary levels of growth would be achieved. They also had to show that the additional risks of high growth would be managed effectively. The pressures on cashflow and overhead costs, for example, had to be considered in some detail. Extensive due diligence was therefore essential.

The collaborative approach between the clients, Citizen, Cornerstone, and SME Capital led to the successful provision of an initial £750k facility to fund the company’s ambitious international growth plans.

Bridging Loan | £290,000

A well-known client of ours who is a builder by trade. Located a property within Cardiff that needed to be gutted and refurbished.

Through our own capital arm, Cornerstone Capital, we funded 85% LTV, giving the client the money to acquire the property, which left him with sufficient personal funds to carry out the works.

Commercial Loan | Healthcare | £200,000

A Specialist Care Business that operated out of three units, with a 4th purchased by the company from its own resources and due to come on stream shortly. Of the other three, two were owned by one of the directors, and another, Berwyn House, was leased.

The landlord gave the company the option of purchasing at a 50% discount (£200k versus the value of £400k) as long as the deal was completed by June 30. The client was seeking a 100% purchase price as cash reserves were utilised in the purchase of the 4th unit.

We reviewed the market, and clients existing Bankers were not attracted to the proposition. Jo Kinsey, NatWest Broker BDM, was approached, and together with local RM Nick Bradley, credit-backed terms were obtained as a matter of urgency, with Victoria Humphries at HCR instructed at the outset to start the legal process.

Clients ensured that required reports in terms of Fire Risk Assessment / EPC and Asbestos surveys were all commissioned.

Despite a couple of last-minute queries from vendor solicitors, the deal was completed on June 30.

Commercial Loan | Automotive | £150,000

The client owns an Accident Repair business on an Industrial Estate in Cardiff. He and his wife own five units on the site, of which he trades from two with the remaining 3 let out. He also occupies another two units on the site, which he leases.

His landlord gave him the option to purchase, but he wanted the deal completed quickly. The client was aware that his landlord could change his mind and wished to move quickly.
We reviewed the market and decided the quickest route and best deal would be via clients existing bankers, NatWest. Jo Kinsey, NatWest Broker BDM, was approached, and together with customers local RM Karen Flicker, credit-backed terms were obtained as a matter of urgency.

We presented a recommendation to utilise RJM Solicitors to complete the transaction on behalf of the bank and client, with Clive Pearson in their Commercial Conveyancing department taking this forward.

The deal was completed within 6 weeks from initial instruction, and the client was delighted. The landlord was also impressed with the speed, and the client has been offered a further unit on the site, which we are currently looking at via the client’s Pension fund.

Overseas Mortgage | €145,000

One of the Directors of an existing client was looking to acquire a Holiday home in Spain and was looking for an overseas mortgage to assist with this.

By engaging with one of Cornerstones Specialist partners, Mark Nichols at Viva Costa International, we were able to affect an introduction, and Mark successfully guided the client through the purchase, legal, and Mortgage process.

The client completed the purchase in late June, giving him the opportunity to enjoy the summer in his new holiday home.

BTL Product Transfer | £124,000

A repeat client came to Cornerstone Finance looking to refinance one of their BTL properties.

Cornerstone arranged a Product Transfer for these clients with their current lender, making this a smooth and simple process for the client whilst securing a competitive interest rate.

Specialist BTL Mortgage | I Residential Investment | £115,000

Existing clients looking to purchase a closed pub for investment purposes. They planned to obtain a change of use as they have a tenant lined up to lease it as a convenience store with residential use planned for the upper floors. The clients were experienced landlords with a substantial property portfolio that generated surplus income that could be used to service initial repayments until the change of use and new tenant were in place.

Knowing the sector and each funder’s USPs, we established early on that Folk2Folk were the funder suited to the client’s requirements. They were able to put a specialist buy-to-let mortgage in place rather than a standard bridging loan, which allows our clients to obtain a change of use and additional income moving forward from the new tenant. Once the clients are able to provide evidence that the property has been converted and a new tenant is in place, we will be looking at refinancing on preferential terms.

BTL Refinance | £79,000

This client approached us looking to raise finance against their unencumbered BTL property that had been recently refurbished. The client was looking to recuperate the money that they had spent on the property as part of the upgrade.

We were able to secure the desired loan amount with a Tier 1 lender at a competitive interest rate.