An American client came to me recently looking to raise capital against her restaurant that she owned with her husband who is an EU national. They have successfully run the business for over a decade, and the restaurant is now worth £1.8million. The couple were looking to capital raise against the restaurant, and lease it out to a new operator, with the proceeds used for future business ventures.
The couple both had UK residency, but complications ensued as the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) of their business was a US-based entity. Unlike the UK, the US lacks a central database of companies that maintains information on shareholdings and directors, which made proving my client’s ownership of the entity and her shareholding very difficult.
Following research into the US entity, I was able to determine that it was not properly incorporated, and that put my clients at potential risk that they were unaware of. To resolve this with all necessary due diligence, I helped to restructure the ownership vehicles – a sort of tidy up of the case’s complexities – which allowed the loan to be approved. This was ideal for the clients as their preferred lender was happy to lend to both UK residents and non-UK nationals. I secured a 5-year managed variable rate of 2.89% with a 1.36% loading fee, making a very attractive total of 4.25% all in.