Apprentice runner-up boosts jobs in business purchase

Money Posted 23/10/17
Former Apprentice runner-up Debra Barr has boosted her stock trading company through the successful acquisition of its supply chain partner, in a deal supported by NatWest.

Debra Barr launched Xcess Trading, based in Woking, in 2011 after identifying a gap in the market for managing surplus stock throughout the supply chain, particularly laptops, tablets, smartphones and audio products. Xcess Trading works in partnership with UK retailers and manufacturers who have overstock by managing the asset disposal of these products via more than 300 worldwide business accounts.

Having grown the business to become a £10m company, Debra has purchased New Life Technology - a partner business which refurbishes electronic products - after receiving £1m in RBS Invoice Finance from NatWest to take her business to its next stage of growth.

The finance has allowed Xcess Trading to win new business by offering payment terms that customers can’t get elsewhere, and supplied it with increased capital with which to buy stock. Debra has also hired three employees from New Life Technology, who joined on completion of the acquisition.

Debra, who manages the company, said: “Cash is like oxygen to a business – the more you have the faster you can run. NatWest’s support has allowed me to keep pace with my ambitions for Xcess Trading, and to look strategically at the service I offer my customers. By bringing in New Life Technology, we can now offer robust end-to-end solutions.

“I love my job and enjoy working with our retailers, brands and customers, and with NatWest’s support we are well on our way to hitting our target of £1m net profit this year. The team at NatWest, as well as our accountants, Menzies LLP, have guided me through the process from beginning to end and continuously look at ways of improving the RBSIF to best support our growth.”

Andrew Kettle, senior relationship manager at NatWest, said: “Debra identified a real need in the market when she launched Xcess Trading several years ago. Whilst the business has grown organically since 2011, we have this year been able to build a momentum behind it and take it to the next level by providing it with tailored financing that has helped it fulfil its business needs.

“I am in no doubt that Debra will achieve her goals for the business and I’m pleased to have been able to assist her in this.”

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