ExecSpace in six-figure Bradenham Partners deal

Emma Little: seeking employees for Aberdeen, Glasgow and London. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Emma Little: seeking employees for Aberdeen, Glasgow and London. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A FAST-growing business in Edinburgh that books venues for conferences and meetings has secured a six-figure cash injection from private equity firm Bradenham Partners.

ExecSpace, which was founded in 2008 by managing director Emma Little, lists blue chips including Aggreko, Cairn Energy and Standard Life among its clients.

Little will now use the funding deal to accelerate her 
expansion plans, recruiting account directors to attract new clients in Aberdeen, Glasgow and London.

The cash will also give ExecSpace the working capital it needs to expand its hotel accommodation booking service.

Little remained tight-lipped about the size of the stake she had sold to Bradenham and about the price it had paid. Last year ExecSpace said it was looking to raise £350,000, having turned down a six-figure deal with a group of business angels in 2011.

Bradenham was introduced to ExecSpace by Paul Mason, the founder of corporate finance firm Lomond Advisory and a former financier at Brewin Dolphin, Deutsche Bank and Quayle Munro.

Mason is taking a seat on the ExecSpace board as a non-executive director, while Bradenham founder Keith Wilson will become the agency’s first chairman. Wilson ran a subsidiary of Granada – now Compass – before joining 
Aberdeenshire-born Alastair Storey in creating £400 million catering giant WSH.

Little said: “It was a whirlwind deal. I met Keith for 
dinner in London and then we signed the deal just two months later.

“This will give us the opportunity to turn ExecSpace from being a decent business into being an excellent business.”

Little gave up her job as a sales executive with Vodafone and started the business with £40,000 of her own cash.

Bradenham took a stake in Edinburgh-based biodegradeable cutlery maker Vegware in 2009 and has also invested in Ecoegg, an alternative to washing machine detergent, and Oakman, which operates six restaurants in England.