Nisa Retail has signed a new £120m loan agreement to cover its existing debt with a cheaper and more flexible deal. The senior team claims the move will help the company achieve record sales levels by 2019.
The refinancing package is £20m higher than their previous loan from Barclays, with the retailer stating that the added cash will enable them to: “Further invest in growth over the next three to five years.” This growth includes an ambitious plan to increase annual sales to £2bn by 2019, a £700m jump compared to this year's results.
Six banks are involved in the £120m loan, compared to one bank involved in the previous refinancing in 2015. CEO Nick Read said the package would: “support our member network, build a sustainable growth model and continue to deliver high standards of service.”
Their finance officer Robin Brown added that the deal would: “Demonstrate confidence in our business.”
However, the elephant in the room may provide a major confidence test for Nisa. Any shareholder vote on the Sainsbury’s-Nisa deal will offer Nisa retailers an opportunity to depart from the leadership team's long term strategy. One retailer told Retail Express that a yes vote would be “a stance against the leadership.”
However not all Nisa retailers agree, with one stating: “I can see why other companies are interested in Nisa and any offer obviously has to be put to the members. When it’s in front of us we’ll make an informed judgement based on the information made available.”
The refinancing deal is understood to be completely separate and unaffected by the acquisition talks currently being discussed by Nisa’s board of directors which includes nine retail members.
After the loss of Costcutter’s contracts in 2014, Nisa posted a large loss in its results, but progress by the senior team and members has seen the company return to profit and attracting an increasing number of new member stores.