COMPANIES: Codemasters to The Restory

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on June 4, 2018, 9:00 am in News, Other

IMAGE: courtesy of Alexandra Maria on Pexels



glue company - dog food maker - cake retailer - country clothes retailer

video games developer - airspace property developer

 - luxury shoe repairer -


Sugru | Bella & Duke £3m | Cake Box £12.8m | Holland Cooper £5.2m | Codemasters £63.5m | Apex Housing | The Restory


News about 7 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 27th May – 2nd June 2018:


SUGRU: glue company - London

Crowdfunding: Tesa’s purchase of Sugru short-changes Crowdcube investors | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. May 27 2018

DZ profile: Formformform Ltd (Sugru’s holding company)

Business: glue company which makes a new type of mouldable and sticky putty. Has won comparisons with Blu-Tack and Sellotape, such is the potential of the material, which sets hard when exposed to air. Has sold millions of packs and the admiration of crafty types, who have used it to fix and modify a vast array of items, from creating homemade bumpers to protect smartphones to repairing frayed power cables and even heat-proofing mugs.

Launched: 2004

Location: London

Founder: Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, 39, Irish inventor & CEO

Staff: 70

Financials: Pre-tax losses increased to £3.4m in 2016, with over £8.5m of losses since 2011. The company breached the covenants on a £4m loan facility with CLYDESDALE BANK in 2016 …and suffered a second covenant breach last September after failing to meet targets ….Clydesdale did not make £1.5m of the loan available.

Investment: bought by German sticky tape maker TESA for £7.6m last week. The London company had raised £5.3m on CROWDCUBE, achieving a valuation of £40m. Jane ni Dhulchaointi, the inventor and chief executive, launched two funding rounds, the second of which raised more than £1.8m in exchange for 4.6% equity last May.

News: 4,800 shareholders received just 9p in the pound in the takeover deal. Ni Dhulchaointi said the deal had saved the jobs of Sugru’s 70 staff. The management team will stay in post. “We found the retail side of the business harder than we imagined,” she said.


Investors come unstuck in Sugru’s £7.6m German sale | James Hurley, The Times. June 4 2018

1. The failure, the biggest to hit the emerging equity crowdfunding industry, raises fresh questions about this form of finance. ….some of the backers are questioning whether they were given an unduly flattering picture of the company’s financial health when Formformform returned to Crowdcube for a second time, raising £1.9m from 2,515 backers in May last year. Backers who bought into Sugru a little more than a year ago were told of a company that had “grown revenues by an average of 32 per cent” between 2013 and 2016 and had secured patents in Europe, the United States, China and India, as well as two million customers. Sugru’s 2016 accounts  suggest that a breach of a banking covenant had occurred before investors were asked for money. ….the 2016 balance sheet shows Sugru had liabilities of £337,528, compared with assets of £1m that appeared in the Crowdcube pitch.   …also an unfortunate detail on the CV of Sugru’s finance director that was not disclosed to investors. …[related to his] time as finance director of IDIO, a technology company from which an accountant stole almost £350,000, was not disclosed.



BELLA & DUKE: dog food maker - Scotland

Dog food maker wins investment from Diet Chef boss | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. May 27 2018

DZ profile: Bella & Duke Limited

Business: Dog food maker which sells raw, unprocessed dog food via an internet- based subscription service

Launched: 2016

Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland

Founders: Mark Scott and Tony Ottley. Scott previously founded GO BANANAS, a stag and hen do party planning company, while Ottley ran a meat manufacturer.

Staff: 10

Financials: on course to make more than £3m in sales in its first full year

Investment: has raised £300,000 of seed investment to invest in logistics and improve the company’s website. The backing came from Scottish tech veterans Kevin Dorren and Bill Dobbie, and Andrew Veitch, the chief executive of DIET CHEF, an online food delivery business that specialises in calorie-controlled ready meals.



CAKE BOX: cake retailer - London

Cake Box float brings £50m windfall for cousins Sukh Chamdal and Pardip Dass | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. May 27 2018

DZ profile: Eggfree Cake Box Limited (Cake Box)

Business: All the company’s products are egg-free and suitable for vegetarians. Customers can choose to have a personalised message iced onto a fresh cream cake while they wait. Opened the first Cake Box store on Green Street, Upton Park, a decade ago and now have more than 90 franchises across the UK. They aim to open two or three new stores each month, with a goal of 250 in total.

Launched: 2009

Location: North London

Founders: Sukh Chamdal, 56 and Pardip Dass, 46,  cousins from London’s East End. Chamdal, a former chef, had the idea for the business when his daughter asked for a cake that didn’t have eggs in it.

Staff: 48

Financials: revenue of £12.8m in the year to the end of March.


1. has appointed the broker SHORE CAPITAL to advise on listing, which will see the business float on the junior AIM market. It is expected to value the company at between £40m and £50m. Chamdal and Dasswill sell 40% of their shares. The cousins will retain control of the remaining 60%. …franchisees will own 9% of the shares, offered to them at a discounted rate.

News: … named last week on The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies.


UK bakeries count on Easter treats to boost growth | Andy Bounds and Chris Tighe, FT. April 20, 2019

2. ...Box floated in June 2018 valued at £43.2m. The shares were priced at 126p and are now worth 164p .A recent trading update for the year to March 31 2019 showed like-for-like sales growth of 6.5 per cent. The company expected £171m revenue, up 30 per cent on the year before. It opened 28 new stores, to reach 114, and intended to continue at a rate of two a month.It also opened distribution centres in Coventry and Bradford to support nationwide coverage.
How to have your cake — even if you didn’t bake it | Liam Kelly and Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. June 2 2019
3. In 2017, Cake Box featured in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list of Britain’s fastest-growing companies. Chamdal, 57, and Dass, 47, listed their business on the junior AIM market in June last year, crystallising a combined £50m fortune Franchisees own 10% of the shares, offered to them at a pre-float discount, and the value of Eggfree Cake Box has risen by more than 25% since, giving it a market capitalisation of £64m.

4. It now has 115 shops run by 63 franchisees. Dass said the average annual gross profit of a Cake Box shop is £98,000, so franchisees quickly make back their initial investment.  Cake Box has not needed to advertise for new franchisees for five years. Of the 70 to 80 applications it receives each month, it turns down 95%. The typical cost for one Cake Box store franchisee is £125,000, compared with £100,000 for a McDonald’s or £300,000 for a Domino’s. Cake Box helps franchisees pick a site and haggles with landlords on rent. It fits out the shop in four weeks while franchisees are trained at Enfield. Unlike most franchise operations, Cake Box does not charge management fees or take a slice of profits from each store, whereas McDonald’s levies a monthly fee based on sales and profitability — usually 12%-21% — and Domino’s Pizza franchisees pay a 5.5% royalty fee, plus a further 5% into an advertising fund. Cake Box made a gross profit margin of 44.3% in the six months to last September, supplying all the sponges, creams and boxes to its franchisees. The only part franchisees buy themselves is fresh fruit for decoration.
Chamdal and Dass ... will not allow individual franchisees to dominate; the biggest Cake Box franchisee has seven stores.  ...has had to “oust” only three franchisees in 10 years for poor performance.



HOLLAND COOPER: country clothes retailer - Gloucestershire

How I made it: Jade Holland Cooper, founder of Holland Cooper | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. May 27 2018

DZ profile: Holland Cooper Clothing Limited

Business: designs, makes and sells trendy tweed clothes for people who go to horse trials at Badminton or Burghley — or City types after a country wardrobe. ….clothes include tweed coats for about £600 and dresses for about £450. It has had a concession in Harrods since 2013 and last year opened a store at the Bicester Village designer outlet, in Oxfordshire. Celebrity endorsements include: actor Mark Strong, comedian Vic Reeves, entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones, David Beckham while Beckham and Made in Chelsea star Georgia Toffolo. Last year she built a new base in Moreton-in-Marsh, without taking on any debt.

Location: Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire

Founder: Jade Holland Cooper, 31. She recently became engaged to Julian Dunkerton, co-founder of the clothing brand SUPERDRY, after dating for about a year.

Staff: 35

Financials: In the year to April, the company made pre-tax profits of £700,000 on sales of £5.2m.

Investment: has never taken outside investment.



CODEMASTERS: video games developer - Warwickshire

UK gaming group plans to pay down debt with Aim flotation | Murad Ahmed, FT. May 29, 2018

DZ profile: Codemasters Group Holdings Plc

Business: one of the country’s oldest video games developers. The group focuses on the development of motor racing games, such as the Colin McRae series of rally racing titles, as well as having the exclusive rights to games based on Formula One, the global supercar series. Its current successes include the DiRT and GRID racing franchises.

Launched: 1986

Location: Warwickshire

Staff: has 500 employees across three locations in England, with a further production facility in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Financials: Year to 31 March:  2016 / 2017 / 2018 (£000) Revenue: 31,002 / 50,056 / 63,566. In the year to March 31 2017, the company made a loss of £9.9m despite growing revenues because of the investment in research and development and interest payments related to £124m in debt owed to Reliance.

Investment: will announce its intention to list shares on Aim, London’s junior market, intending to raise about £160m for India’s RELIANCE BIG ENTERTAINMENT, its majority shareholder, which has also invested in global media groups including the Hollywood movie studio DreamWorks. A group of company directors and senior management, including chief executive Frank Sagnier, will earn about £10m from the listing, with £15m also raised for the company to invest on expanding its games offerings.

News:  A decade ago, the group had to abort plans for an initial public offering following concerns about a highly indebted balance sheet. The group believes the IPO will make it debt free.

China crackdown clouds future for UK gaming groups | Hannah Murphy, FT. September 15, 2018

1. ...listed on the London Stock Exchange at the beginning of June. The group said ahead of the float that it was seeking to raise £15m for the company before expenses, while India’s Reliance Big Entertainment sold a £160m stake and the company management offloaded a £10m stake ....with the likes of OLD MUTUAL GLOBAL INVESTORS, CANACCORD GENUITY and HENDERSON GLOBAL INVESTORS all taking small stakes Codemasters has since lost 37 per cent to trade at 166.5p today, giving it a market capitalisation of £233m.


APEX HOUSING: airspace property developer - London

London airspace property developer Apex Housing hits new heights with £6.25m investment from the Business Growth Fund | Lucy White, City A.M. 29 May 2018

BGF press release: Apex Housing Group heads for new heights with BGF backing

DZ profile: Apex Housing Group Limited

Business: innovative airspace property developer which purchases unused "airspace" above residential, commercial and public building rooftops and converts the space into homes. Its team of architects and technicians use advanced methods – known as modular construction – to design rooftop properties to exact specifications, which are then built in an offsite factory and installed through high access equipment. New developments have already been completed in St John’s Wood and Camden, with further developments consisting of more than 100 homes currently in progress. The installation, which typically takes place in a few days, means minimal disruption to neighbours and residents and adds value to the whole building through refurbishment of worn facades and improvements to the property entrance and common areas.

Apex has built relationships with local authorities and private property investors. The group consists of two divisions, Apex Airspace Development (AAD) and Apex Housing Solutions (AHS). The latter is a provider of emergency temporary accommodation to 18 of London’s 33 councils.

Launched: 2008

Location: London

Founder: chief executive Arshad Bhatti

Investment: £6.25m investment from the BUSINESS GROWTH FUND (BGF). Apex will use BGF’s funding to accelerate its construction programme, with plans to develop 300-400 properties during the next three years. Once built, many of the properties are expected to be eligible and available through the Government’s Help to Buy scheme, with property prices typically starting at around £350,000. BGF has backed a number of property companies in the past including ANSTEY HORNE, SDL GROUP, CAMPION HOMES and HORBURY GROUP.

News: The firm estimates that the capital's rooftop development market could be worth up to £54bn, and believes there is the potential to build 180,000 properties on London's rooftops alone.



THE RESTORY: luxury shoe repairer - London

Luxury cobbler seeks £750k expansion as repair jobs hit 500 orders a month | Jonathan Prynn, The Evening Standard. 30 May

DZ profile: The Restory Ltd

Business: Repair service for battered designer handbags and shoes. Its workshop in Ladbroke Grove now handles 500 orders a month and has clients including the model Adwoa Aboah. The Restory picks up and delivers goods for repair for free. Shoe repairs average about £60 and £150 for a handbag. There are also services such as repainting Louboutin soles red. Challenging jobs have included a new £1,500 Saint Laurent “Kate” handbag that had been chewed by a puppy, and a £38,000 pale-blue Hermes “Birkin” bag with a biro mark scrawled across the front.

Launched: 2015

Location: London

Founder: Vanessa Jacobs, 40

Investment: is raising £750,000 to invest in a more advanced IT system capable of handling up to 30,000 orders monthly.