Lancashire Cricket Club has signed-up with Metro Bank as a commercial banking customer of the high street bank that entered the UK market in 2010.
This agreement includes a new transformational multi-million pound refinancing package that will see multiple lenders consolidated into one. The new arrangement will significantly reduce the Club’s current annual interest burden and align its debt repayment profile with its long term business plan. This comes at an exciting time for the Club as it enters the next phase of its growth following the recent announcement of strong financial results for a fourth year in a row.
The Emirates Old Trafford based cricket club has seen operating profit grow from £750,000 in 2015 to £2.4m in 2018, with a record year anticipated for 2019, featuring six ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures, a Specsavers Ashes Test Match and the regular domestic season, including the ever growing Roses Vitality Blast fixture against Yorkshire that will see the best part of three quarters of a million sports and business visitors visit the venue.
The original borrowing structure was based around the build and launch of the award-winning Point conference and event facility, and the 150-bedroom four star Hilton Garden Inn hotel, which have provided combined record revenues in 2018 of more than £8m, and now form the basis of the Club’s ever-growing sustainable commercial income model.
The financial restructuring provides the Club with the ability to enter the next phase of its growth plan, both on and off the field, generating the income to deliver the overall aim and vision to grow the game of cricket in the North West from grass roots and participation through to elite.
The refinancing moves the Club into a new era following the development phase which was supported and funded by the previous five lenders, namely the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Trafford Council, Macquarie Bank, NatWest Bank and the game’s first ever Cricket Bond.
The agreement was sourced and facilitated by leading global debt advisory business, JC Rathbone Associates, with legal advice and guidance provided by the Club’s official legal partner, and international commercial law firm, Hill Dickinson.
Commenting on the new refinance, Lancashire Cricket Club Chairman, David Hodgkiss OBE, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed and secured our long term financial position. We have security and consistency now in place for the next 10 years, which allows us make the relevant and appropriate decisions in line with our vision for cricket in the North West, and our desire to grow the sustainable commercial model.
“Metro Bank provided the perfect solution for us, matching our ambition, vision and values, alongside their desire and commitment to SMEs and commercial trading businesses, as well as their own plans to grow across Manchester and the North West.
“We’d like to specifically thank GMCA, Trafford Council and Macquarie Bank for their support over the last four years in understanding us as both an elite sports club and a burgeoning leisure business. Their commitment provided us with the right platform to manage and build the business through the latest phase of ground development, and also for their time and support in the last few weeks whilst concluding the agreements.
“We also must thank the Members, supporters and investors who committed to the Lancashire Cricket Bond which matures later this year. Their confidence was critical when it was launched and they have all played a key role in the building of what we now have as a county club, an award-winning venue and a sustainable commercial business model, all of which allows us to invest further in the game of cricket in the North West.”
Mark Stokes, Managing Director, Commercial Banking at Metro Bank, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Lancashire Cricket Club and to support their growth plans for the future, both as an internationally high profile sports brand and a strong commercial trading business.
“We plan to open our first store in Manchester later this year following our recent £120million Capability and Innovation Fund award and Lancashire Cricket Club is the perfect partner to open the batting with as we look to attract more fans in the region.”