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Ice Factor acquires SNO!zone Braehead

MBM Commercial are delighted to have assisted the Scottish based Adventure Sports operator, Ice Factor International Ltd with its recent acquisition of SNO!zone Braehead Ltd which was a subsidiary of specialist retail property company, Capital & Regional plc.

The deal also involved a further investment by the existing investors of Ice Factor International Ltd, members of the Highland Venture Capital investment syndicate and Scottish Investment Bank’s Co-investment Fund.

SNO!zone Braehead operates Scotland’s only indoor real snow ski & boarding facility located within Xscape Braehead , Scotland’s premier urban leisure venue. It is jointly owned by Capital & Regional and Capital Shopping Centres, co-owners of the adjacent Braehead Shopping Centre.  As part of the acquisition, a new 25 year lease has been entered into and the landlords will undertake a significant capital investment refurbishing and upgrading of the facilities.

Charles Staveley, Group Finance Director, Capital & Regional plc commented:

“We are delighted to have attracted such an experienced and professional operator as Ice Factor to Xscape Braehead and have high expectations of their positive influence on the overall offer.

“Capital & Regional remains committed to both SNO!zones at Milton Keynes and Castleford“.

Jamie Smith, Founder & Managing Director of Ice Factor commented:

“We’re absolutely delighted to add SNO!zone Braehead to our group. Having proven the huge demand for adventure and high quality family activities, we have been seeking expansion for some time and the Xscape Braehead site is perfect. It’s an iconic destination.

“We are excited about the prospect of embedding all we’ve learned from the mountains and ski-industry to a facility right in the central belt. Our model is predicated on attracting people who’ve never tried winter sports before, and making it really easy for them to ‘simply have a go’. With this acquisition, we have an unrivalled range of Adventure Sports, all under one banner allied with a strong commercial pedigree focussed on delivering outstanding customer experiences. We have other sites in various stages of negotiation, particularly Inverness and Burlington Vermont USA, which we hope to advance imminently.”

“I would also like to thank our legal team at MBM Commercial.  Stuart Hendry and his colleagues stepped up to the mark and burned the midnight oil repeatedly in the final stages of the deal to make sure that we could close the deal in a very short timescale.  There were multiple parties involved and MBM Commercial did a great job as project managers, where they provided sensible commercial advice at the right times and helped find solutions when we needed them.  They are a first choice for any entrepreneur who wants to build a serious growth company.”

Funding for the investment came from Highland Venture Capital and its partner the Scottish Investment Bank’s Co-Investment Fund.

Iain Scott, Gatekeeper of Highland Venture Capital Ltd, commented:

“This is our second round of investment into the Ice Factor; the plan to broaden the offering and take the business to a major conurbation is both transformational and compelling.”

Also commenting on the deal Stuart Hendry, partner in MBM Commercial LLP, said:

“We are delighted to have assisted Ice Factor International with its Sno!zone acquisition and related back to back fundraising.  This acquisition is a fantastic deal for our clients and will be a key acquisition for them as part of their long term goals and objectives which involve significant growth.  With December being a key sales period for Sno!zone Braehead there was a great deal of urgency to complete a complicated deal in a very short timescale with multiple parties involved.  All parties to the deal should be thanked for taking a speedy, pragmatic and helpful approach to get the deal over the finish line so quickly to ensure that Ice Factor could enjoy the benefits of the winter season trade.”

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