Level and Burford unveil funding boosts

Williamson: Significant growth opportunities ahead

Level, a litigation funder that specialises in family law, probate and other private client matters, has secured a £20m investment from Guernsey-based 1818 Venture Capital.

The backing is in the form of a substantial equity investment and a new debt facility.

Level said it worked with over 200 UK law firms and has funded hundreds of cases and clients.

Founder and chief executive George Williamson said: “We see significant growth opportunities ahead and this new equity capital, combined with our new and highly flexible funding line, will allow us to capture them.”

Richard Avery-Wright, founder and chief executive of 1818 Venture Capital, said Level met its criteria of having an “exceptional” management team with “a clear plan for high growth”.

His colleague, Mark Smith, added: “With this equity investment and the provision of a significant revolving credit facility, arranged by 1818 and provided by one of our close contacts in the insurance sector, Level will accelerate its remarkable upward trajectory in an expanding market segment that can help give borrowers access to fairness and hence ‘level’ the litigation playing field.”

Meanwhile, Burford Capital has increased the amount it is raising from its first bond issue in the US to $400m.

The original plan announced last week was to raise $350m through the private offering of 6.25% senior notes due in 2028.

The funder said it intended to use the net proceeds “for general corporate purposes, including the potential repayment or retirement of existing indebtedness”.

Chief executive Chris Bogart said: “We are very pleased with our inaugural bond issue in the US institutional market, which represents the largest capital raising in Burford’s history.

“Despite being a new issuer in that corporate bond market, the world’s largest and deepest, we were able to obtain pricing well below initial indication and consistent with our existing debt in a significantly over-subscribed offering.

“Indeed, we increased the deal size from $350m, providing investors with more liquidity, and plan to use the incremental $50m of proceeds to retire existing debt.”

Ratings agency Moody’s has since upgraded Burford to reflect the company’s success in improving its governance and the strong operating performance during Covid.

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