Case Study: ES Global

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ES Global Holdings Limited (ES Global) provides innovative and creative solutions for music, sporting, corporate and hospitality events. ES Global specialises in the delivery of dynamic stages, temporary structures, event overlay and expert project management.


The company was founded in 1974 – the Edwin Shirley Group. Since then, it has established itself as a market leader within its sector.


The team has developed products that make possible the delivery of world class temporary, re-locatable arenas, stages and public event structures. Projects of note include structures for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies and the Water Polo arena at the Olympic site in Stratford for London 2012.


In 2010, the company never reclaimed a major debt, and – as a result – went into administration. The staging and projects side of the company was purchased by a Middle East based UK investor, and renamed ‘ES Global’. Olly Watts and Jeff Burke, who already worked on this side of the business continued to work for the new company. Subsequently, after nearly two years of working for the investors, then went on to purchase the company in 2013. This is where they called upon support from The Route – Finance…


Working with The Route – Finance

In July 2013, The Route – Finance completed a £1 million loan for ES Global, which was oversubscribed by Route – City wealth club Members. The Route – Finance had been recommended to the company by a third party broker, Ruffina Capital.

When the loan reached maturity in July 2014, the company had £1.5 million on deposit at the bank, but decided it wanted to keep this facility for a further year.

Olly Watts, Director, at ES Global, commented: “Our requirement to raise the capital to purchase ES Global came at a time when the banks were being very cautious when it came to lending to SMEs. Therefore we chose not to even go down that route – only for the process to be – inevitably – slowed up.

“Offers of finance from other sources were costly, slow and made with conditions, so The Route – Finance’s offer to extend the loan for a further 12 months was very attractive.


ES Global today


Today, ES Global employs 25 staff and has a regular bank of contractors. International contracts see the company working in Brazil, Qatar, The UK and North America.


With a turnover of £8m+ in the last financial year, ES Global is in a strong position and has a healthy pipeline of business. The company has a growth projection of 20 per cent per year.




Working with The Route – Finance has been a positive experience. When we started the project, we fully anticipated that we may – at some stage – we would have to sell a larger proportion of equity, but that hasn’t been the case.

The company always provides regular quarterly updates for both ES Global and our investors.”

– Olly Watts
Director ES Global

ES Global is the perfect example of a small business needing help and support to meet its growth potential.

As is being heavily reported, this type of alternative funding is the way forward for so many small businesses – as recognised by our own investment community.”

– William Fleischmann-Allen
Head of The Route – Finance

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