Private Equity


5 minutes


Foresight provides £25 million debt facility to specialist lender Fresh Thinking Capital

  • Funding will be used to support the growth of Fresh Thinking Capital’s loan book
  • Complements Foresight’s regional approach to investing with Leeds based Fresh Thinking Capital providing much needed debt finance to SMEs across the UK
  • Investment takes Foresight’s committed capital to the alternative lending sector to over £150 million

Click here to read the announcement as a PDF

Leeds, 12 August 2021: Foresight Group, an award-winning listed alternative investment manager, has provided a senior secured debt facility of up to £25 million to specialist secured SME lender, Fresh Thinking Capital (the “Company”).

Foresight worked with the Company to structure a debt facility tailored to provide the flexibility required in Fresh Thinking Capital’s business model. With its new lending capacity, Fresh Thinking Capital will be able to substantially grow its loan book and provide much needed financing to a wide range of SMEs that require a lender to tailor funding that is right for them.

Headquartered in Leeds, the Company provides short-term secured business loans to UK-based SMEs seeking fast and flexible financing, in circumstances where the business may need a prompt funding solution to realise an opportunity. Fresh Thinking Capital takes a pragmatic and commercial approach to each individual customer’s unique situation, and by taking a variety of assets as security, is able to provide bespoke short-term financing more quickly and efficiently than mainstream lenders.

The business was launched in 2018 by Melanie Hird and Andrew Walls, who previously spent ten years in private equity focused on supporting UK-based SMEs. At Fresh Thinking Capital, the team has built a profitable lending business with a strong track record, having lent over £50 million supporting nearly 40 businesses.

Commenting on the investment, Melanie Hird, Founder and Director of Fresh Thinking Capital said: “We are delighted to have secured a funding facility with Foresight that will allow more SMEs to benefit from our flexible funding at a time when businesses and entrepreneurs are looking for additional liquidity. We are excited to be working with Foresight and believe their approach and principles to lending fit with our business. We look forward to supporting SMEs and helping them achieve their growth aspirations.”

Oliver Bates, Private Debt Manager at Foresight, added: “We are continuing to grow our asset backed lending portfolio and delighted to partner with the Fresh Thinking Capital team. Melanie and Andrew have built a highly successful business in a relatively short time and navigated what was a difficult 2020 for many lending businesses extremely well. We look forward to supporting the team in its next phase of growth.”

Since 2017, Foresight has been providing debt facilities of between £10 million to £50 million to alternative lenders targeting businesses with a unique offering, strong track record and experienced management team. The investment into Fresh Thinking Capital brings Foresight’s total committed capital to the alternative lending sector to over £150 million and will sit alongside facilities to other SME and property bridge lending businesses.

Advisers to the Company:

Legal Advice:                      Clarion Solicitors Limited

Accountants:                      Duncan Chartered Accountants

Corporate Finance:          Altenburg Advisory Limited

Advisers to Foresight:

Financial DD:                      SC Advisory Services Limited and Cadence Advisory LLP

Legal DD:                             Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Cyber DD:                            KryptoKloud Limited


For more information contact:

Tom Carlin: / +44(0)7827 957 740


Notes to Editors

About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):

Foresight is an award-winning listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 35 years.

Foresight has £7.2 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs), Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Relief (BR) and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs).

Foresight’s Private Equity Team, comprising over 30 investment professionals, manages c.£700 million in a portfolio of more than 100 companies and pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.

Foresight was a commended finalist in the Best Venture Capital Trust Provider category at the 2020 Investment Life & Pensions Moneyfacts Awards. Foresight was named ‘Fund Manager of the Year’ at the PLC Awards last year, ‘Generalist VCT of the Year’ at the Investment Week Tax Efficiency Awards 2018/19 and was a finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.

Foresight’s largest office is in London with regional UK offices in Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester, Cambridge and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid, and Luxembourg.


About Fresh Thinking Capital

Fresh Thinking Capital are principal lenders with committed funds who make short term loans from £100,000 to £2 million to SMEs for periods of up to 24 months.

Fresh Thinking Capital recognises that business owners want a funding partner which understands them and is flexible to their specific needs. They don’t want funding to feel like a one size fits all approach, but to actually take into account what makes them unique as a business. Fresh Thinking Capital provides a tailored approach that ensures businesses have the right funding when they need it.

Fresh Thinking Capital’s decision-making process is extremely quick, and execution follows smoothly thereafter. It can typically transact within five days from first seeing the business.

With a 20-year track record in investing, Fresh Thinking Capital has an experienced team well positioned to support SMEs with growth plans, special situations, and opportunities where businesses need to move quickly.

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