Better Capital in the media

TV and press coverage

  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – April 2016 // 1 April 2016

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, September  2015, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – March 2016 // 1 March 2016

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, March 2016, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – February 2016 // 1 February 2016

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, February 2016, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – September 2015 // 1 September 2015

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, September  2015, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

     

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – June 2015 // 1 June 2015

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, June 2015, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

     

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – May 2015 // 1 May 2015

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, May 2015, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – April 2015 // 1 April 2015

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, April 2015, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Better Capital’s Response to the First Joint Report of the Business, Innovation and Skills and Scottish Affairs Committees of Session 2014-15 on the Impact of the closure of City Link on Employment. // 30 March 2015

    Better Capital’s Response to the First Joint Report of the Business, Innovation and Skills and Scottish Affairs Committees of Session 2014-15 on the Impact of the closure of City Link on Employment.

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  • Statement on City Link // 23 March 2015

    Better Capital’s Response to the BIS and Scottish Affairs Committees’ Report on City Link

    First, we acknowledge that many of the more general questions raised in this Report do need addressing. Issues about employee consultation near insolvency and the evolution of different forms of employment particularly need legislative change.

    However, in one significant respect the Report is incorrect.

    The Report states that “From 22nd December [2014], the company took a deliberate decision not to inform employees and contractors as to the true intentions and position of the company, and this was done for the financial benefit of City Link and Better Capital.” This statement is ill-founded.

    It is incorrect to suggest that there was any financial benefit to City Link in continuing to trade between 22nd and 24th December, the date when it ceased trading. The company had effectively failed on either date.

    It is our firm belief that the company took the right decision to trade until 24th December.

    If the company had ceased trading on 22nd December, which no doubt it would have done if its situation had become public knowledge, then some hundreds of thousands of parcels would have been in the system and a substantial proportion of these held by contractors. It is clear that in this scenario a large number of these parcels would never have been delivered, resulting in customers’ unnecessary financial loss and very substantial disappointment for families at Christmas.

    It would also have resulted in massive financial claims against City Link for non-delivery and loss of parcels which, in our estimation, could plausibly have added in excess of £10m to the unsecured creditors of City Link.

    In our view, the company took a deliberate and brave decision to trade for the extra two days which it could only do if it did not announce its likely administration.

    To facilitate this additional trading time Better Capital agreed to allow the security for its debt to run down. The Committees received evidence that some £3.4m of cash was received in those two days and we believe that the unsecured creditors were less at 24th December than they would have been at 22nd December. In addition, employees received pay for those additional days. Better Capital’s loss of security position enabled this to happen.

    Better Capital does not accept that it, as a secured creditor, should have done any more than it did. We explored thoroughly and carefully every avenue to a solvent outcome, but sadly failed to find one. Better Capital could have recovered much more of its investment by precipitating an earlier insolvency, but we did not do so to allow every possible solution to be considered.

    We at Better Capital very much regret the failure of City Link and its consequences for so many.

  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier – December 2014 / January 2015 // 1 January 2015

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, December 2014 / January 2015, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton on Bloomberg - Squirrel: Better Money Management Via Technology // 12 November 2014

    Mutaz Qubbaj, co-founder of Squirrel, and Jon Moulton, founder at Better Capital, discuss the use of technology to help people manage their bills effectively through the Squirrel program.

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  • Jon Moulton on Bloomberg - Bank Fines Don’t Punish Individuals Responsible // 12 November 2014

    Jon Moulton discusses FX-rigging fines levied against five banks, the lack of individuals being held responsible for their actions and changes that can be made to simplify the banking industry.

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - November 2014 // 1 November 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, November 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - October 2014 // 1 October 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, October 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - September 2014 // 10 September 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, September 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - July / August 2014 // 18 August 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, July / August 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - June 2014 // 14 June 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, June 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - May 2014 // 8 May 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, May 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Jon Moulton in Corporate Financier - April 2014 // 16 April 2014

    This article appeared in Corporate Financier, April 2014, magazine of the Corporate Finance Faculty of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales www.icaew.com/cff

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  • Nick Sanders on Turnarounds on Radio 4 // 15 March 2013

  • Nick Sanders to speak at the 2012 Private Equity Conference // 17 July 2012

  • Gardner Group in the Sunday Times // 1 July 2012

    Meet the gazelle firms: sprinting for growth but outrun by Germans

    THE SUNDAY TIMES Published: 1 July 2012 Kathryn Cooper, Economics Correspondent 

    BRITAIN may be mired in a double-dip recession, but you wouldn’t know it at Gardner Aerospace. The engineering firm makes parts for all the big names in aviation, with 80% of its production ending up in Airbus airliners.

    Last year, while much of the country was tightening its belt, Gardner Aerospace clocked up a 40% jump in sales and took on 100 extra staff at its factories in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. It has bought rivals in India and France, transforming itself into a business with a turnover of £100m and 1,400 workers on the payroll.

    “In 2008 our company was hurt quite badly as we were exposed to general aviation and business jets, so we had to work hard to reposition ourselves to take advantage of high-growth markets,” said Phil Lewis, the company’s chief executive.

    Gardner is one of the companies identified by the CBI, the business lobby group, as a stellar example of the type of company Britain needs to get back on its feet. It is part of a group of businesses nicknamed “gazelles” by the CBI — mid-sized companies that are alert and move quickly.

    Katja Hall, chief policy director of the CBI, revealed the label last month at a summit on medium-sized firms.

    Only 1% of British companies are defined as medium-sized businesses — those with turnover of between £20m and £800m. Yet they contribute more than 30% of GDP and employ more than a third of the British workforce, according to a report on the sector by GE Capital, the lender.

    Yet Britain’s mid-market still lags well behind Germany’s Mittelstand in terms of global reach, investment in innovation and research and, above all, confidence in the future.

    The GE report found that for every British “gazelle” with revenue growth of 10% or more, there were three “strugglers” not growing at all — or, indeed, shrinking. Of the firms it surveyed, 26% said survival rather than growth was their defining strategy — almost double the number in Germany and more than in France and Italy.

    An increasing number of experts believe finding more gazelles is crucial to kicking life back into the economy.

    “Most of the public debate has been about small companies or multinationals,” Vince Cable, the business secretary, told delegates at the CBI event. “It’s the M [middle] bit which we’re here to talk about today.”

    Professor Stephen Roper of Warwick Business School, co-author of the GE report, said: “As UK commentators look to Germany in an effort to understand the country’s economic outperformance, increasingly their attention is turning to the role played by the Mittelstand, a group of highly effective mid-market businesses that drive the economy. Where is the UK’s Mittelstand?”

    If Britain’s mid-market had grown at the same rate as Germany’s since 2009, it would have created an extra 240,000 jobs — 200,000 of them outside London and southeast England — and generated more than £35 billion of increased revenues, boosting UK exports by almost 51%.

    Medium-sized businesses are seen by the government as key to its goal of improving export performance in emerging markets. Only 11% of mid-market companies have increased revenues from Latin America over the past five years and only 15% have raised revenues from China. This compares with 20% and 25% respectively for German firms, according to GE.

    Many of the companies that are looking beyond our traditional trading partners have done so more by accident than design, in response to the recession in Europe.

    Jeremy Burden, chief executive of Burdens, a building materials supplier with £350m turnover, has turned to the Middle East because the downturn in the domestic market has shown no signs of abating.

    “Over the past five years we have been developing our business in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and also Australia. The UK outlook remains difficult. A fair amount of our business is based on public spending on infrastructure and while the government has committed to boosting this, the money is not yet evident,” he said.

    Bristol-based Burden thinks there is plenty to be learnt from the Germans. “They tend to take a longer-term view on things such as spending on research and development and their investors are not so concerned with a quick exit.”

    The government wants to take a more strategic approach to boosting exports among mid- market businesses, building on the German model with chambers of commerce based in key high-growth markets.

    Cable told the summit that £10m of UK Trade & Investment’s budget had been set aside to promote medium-sized companies, with a plan for more trade missions focused on the sector. Lord Green, the trade minister, and John Cridland, the CBI director-general, recently took a group of mid-market businesses to Turkey, and Cable will lead a delegation to India in the autumn.

    Business finance remains a big issue, whether it is bank lending or working capital to fund growth. “We recently took on a contract with B&Q to provide logistics and needed additional working capital,” said Burden, “but we didn’t get any support from our commercial bank, Royal Bank of Scotland. We had to go to GE in the end.”

    Many in the business world, including the British Chambers of Commerce, support the call from David Merlin-Jones of Civitas, the think tank, for a state-backed enterprise bank similar to those in Germany and America to bridge the gap.

    In Germany, KfW provides cheap loans to small and medium-sized enterprises through regional commercial banks. It advanced a record €28.5 billion (£22.9 billion) in 2010, creating 66,000 jobs and 7,100 start-ups.

    America’s Small Business Administration (SBA) has increased lending by 20% during the recession.

    Merlin-Jones has argued that the cost of an enterprise bank would not need to fall on the taxpayer because the Bank of England could use quantitative easing to fund it. Many businesses would prefer a private-sector solution.

    The government has established the £1.2 billion Business Finance Partnership, but for companies such as Burdens the coalition is simply not moving fast enough.

    “One of our directors has established a fund called Capital for Colleagues to attract money into a pool of family-owned businesses such as ours. He has had interest but it needs a catalyst such as government intervention. There is no question this is a problem for mid-sized businesses,” said Burden.

    Another issue is finding and retaining local talent, which is not in the top 10 challenges for Germany’s Mittelstand. There, apprenticeships tend to last three to five years and the mid-market is a popular destination for skilled graduates. In the UK, apprenticeships may last months and the onus is on the company to provide them.

    “About 10% of our direct workforce is apprentices, but we have had to make a deliberate decision to go down that route and invest in skills,” said Gardner’s Phil Lewis.

    Other mid-sized businesses must do more to help themselves, otherwise they risk getting left behind when recovery finally comes, according to GE.

    “Myopic behaviour may be detrimental to the nation’s economic health in the long term because it can erode the competitive advantage these firms have and expose them to predation by larger competitors with better resources,” said Roper.


     

  • Gardner Group in The Economist // 16 June 2012

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  • Mark Aldridge in the Birmingham Post // 30 June 2011

  • Jon Moulton in the Money Observer // 24 May 2011

  • Jon Moulton in Legal Week's Private Equity Forum // 21 April 2011

  • Jon Moulton as a guest on MoneyTalk, the weekly podcast from Fool.co.uk // 21 October 2010

  • Better Capital? Fundraising the fast way // 9 April 2010

  • Jon Moulton featured on BVO as a world leader in business // 31 March 2010

  • Better Capital's launch party appears in the Financial Times // 4 March 2010

    Jon Moulton is not one of those private equity bosses who shuns the limelight - he became the first to appear on the famous neon advertising billboards at Piccadilly Circus yesterday.

    Ahead of the launch party for his new Better Capital firm last night, he unveiled a 45 second ad featuring "Debtmageddon", a spinning counter totting up the UK national debt as it passes £800bn.

    Passing tourists and vagabonds were bemused to read a string of depressing quotes rolling across one of the screens, next to the McDonald's and Samsung video ads.

    "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office," Aesop, 600BC, was followed by: "Blessed are the young, for they will inherit the national debt," President Hoover, 1936.

    The final quote is: "UK debt: Resting on a bed of nitro-glycerine," Bill Gross, Pimco, January 2010.

    Source: Financial Times - 04 March 2010


  • Business West Midlands interview Jon Moulton // 3 March 2010

  • Jon Moulton also considers private equity careers to be overrated // 3 February 2010

  • Jon Moulton in the fundamentals of an excellent turnaround strategy // 13 January 2010