Refinancing gives RBS a 20% stake in the fit-out specialist, which made a pre-tax loss of £900,000 in 2008

Retail fit-out specialist Styles & Wood has announced a refinancing package that will clear its £17m debt pile.

The move means the company has tapped investors for £12.25m and agreed a debt for equity swap with RBS that will leave the lender with just under 20% of the company.

Ivan McKeever
McKeever: Refinancing "Relieves concerns"

It follows a six-week process that saw the company explore several avenues in an attempt to shore up its balance sheet.

Chief executive Ivan McKeever said: “This refinancing will provide us with the funds we need to secure our position as one of the leading players in the property services market. It provides a huge boost to our balance sheet, relieves concerns about our short and medium term debt burden and should allow us to work closely with our customers to take advantage of the expected upturn in our business as we emerge from recession.”

The company announced a pre-tax loss of £900,000 in the year to 31 December 2008 on turnover of £243.1m. In 2007 it made a pre-tax profit of £11.8m on turnover of £316m.

A company statement said: “In response to the negative economic outlook and intense financial pressure, our customers have reduced capital expenditure budgets which has resulted in orders being cancelled, delayed or deferred. This significantly reduced our revenues in 2008 which, combined with gross margins being under pressure in many of the framework arrangements, accounts for the major fall in profits.”