Phone retailer The iOutlet acquired by management team - PKF Francis Clark
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Phone retailer The iOutlet acquired by management team

James Green Ltd, the Plymouth-based company behind The iOutlet, has been acquired by its management team in a deal supported by our corporate finance team.

Established by Matt Green and Liam James in 2012, The iOutlet has developed into one of the UK’s leading multi-channel retailers of refurbished or pre-owned phones, having sold close to £100 million worth of products to date.

With approaching 30 employees, it has a well-established range of online platforms attracting both retail and wholesale customers. In March 2020, The iOutlet was nominated for Mobile News Awards 2020 “Best Online Retailer” alongside O2, AO and musicMagpie.

The corporate finance team at PKF Francis Clark advised James Green’s shareholders on the sale of the business to the management team by supporting them in structuring the transaction and securing a cash flow loan facility from Santander.

The iOutlet team, from left: Liam James, Russell Jones, Lewis Cox, Oliver Green, Greg Jones and Matt Green

Matt and Liam said: “Having worked tirelessly to develop The iOutlet into the business it is today, we now have an established brand for the management team to continue with the next stage of our development growth plans.

“The team, led by Lewis Cox and including Ollie Green, Greg Jones and Russell Jones, have been integral to the success and growth of the business over the last few years and getting to this stage.

“The funding and support from Santander have been important to us in completing this transaction and we have been impressed with their approach to understand our business quickly in detail and provide the financial input in a timely manner.

The iOutlet’s headquarters in Plymouth

“We believe that the flexible funding structure provided will enable the team to achieve the desired growth ambitions, and we very much look forward to working with them going forwards.

“Our thanks go to PKF Francis Clark for providing advice and support throughout the process and Santander for the financing to complete the transaction.”

Lewis said: “We were thrilled when Matt and Liam approached us with the offer to buy their business. They have worked tremendously hard to develop The iOutlet into a leading multi-channel retailer of refurbished phones and we are excited at the opportunity we have been given to continue to grow the business they have created.”

PKF Francis Clark’s team comprised Andy Killick, Dave Armstrong, Holly Bedford, Martin Atkins and Tom Slade.

Dave Armstrong - Corporate Finance DirectorCorporate finance director Dave, left, said: “It has been a pleasure advising Matt and Liam on this transaction. The iOutlet is a great example of the founders of an exciting tech business developing and mentoring a team to take increasing responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the business with the ultimate aim being for them to acquire the business.

“Telecoms is an essential sector and the need to be able to communicate remotely has never been higher. Refurbished devices have become an attractive proposition price wise and consumers are also recognising the social and environmental benefits of recycling a phone. This has been demonstrated by the company’s financial performance during recent months and we look forward to the continued success of The iOutlet.”

Other advisers included Ken Lewins and Fergus Baker at Foot Anstey for the vendors. The management team’s legal adviser was Tim Jackman at White Jackman.

The team at Santander was led by Peter Abel with support from Richard Thwaite and Steve Tyers, and they were advised by Ed Hobbs at Ashfords. Financial due diligence was undertaken by Mark Champion at Isca Ventures.

Peter Abel, Santander growth capital director, said: “The iOutlet is an excellent business and is a good fit for our investment strategy of supporting ambitious growth businesses. We have been impressed with the achievements of the team in growing the business in recent years and are delighted to be supporting them for their next phase of expansion.

“The market demand for refurbished phones, tablets and technology equipment is expected to increase over the next five years and our investment and support will help increase The iOutlet’s market position and grow the brand.”

For more deals news and insights, click here.

FEATURING: Andrew Killick
Andrew Killick is a partner and Head of the Firm’s Corporate Finance team covering the Southern region. He has worked in Corporate Finance for over… read more
FEATURING: Martin Atkins
Martin is a business services partner working across our Plymouth and Exeter offices and has lived in Devon all his life. The relationships he has… read more
FEATURING: David Armstrong
Dave started working in corporate finance with a ‘Big 4’ firm in 1993, focusing on helping businesses secure the optimal amount of grant funding towards… read more
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