Case Studies

Meridian Driver

Partner: Ultimate Finance Group
Region: North West
Location: Atherton, Manchester
Programme: Investment Programme and our other commercial investments

Partner: Ultimate Finance group
Region: North West
Location: Atherton, Manchester
Programme: Investment programme

Meridian Driver provides bus drivers to national operators.


It has received a 12 month contract to supply and manage 90 drivers to operate in the Bristol area for one of the UK’s premier bus companies.

The company has recruited more than 70 personnel to date and is advertising nationally for the remainder. As many of the drivers will be relocating from across the UK for the duration of the contract, Meridian Driver is responsible for organising and paying for the accommodation, as well as the drivers’ weekly payroll.

With some bus operators having 90 day payment terms, the amount owing from outstanding invoices can be as much as £1 million for 90 drivers at the end of the three months.

To meet its cashflow needs and to enable it to expand its operations, Ultimate Finance has provided the company with a £750,000 invoice finance facility

Speaking about the contract, Stephen Booth of Meridian Driver, said,

“Founders of the company, Paul Watson and Oliver Bowler, are well respected throughout the bus and coach industry, as they have been recruiting and training drivers for almost a decade. They know the requirements within the sector and the way to recruit and manage reliable and experienced personnel.
“However when you are asked to supply 90 drivers you need a funding package in place to cover the huge amount of money that will be needed to cover the wages and accommodation costs. Not many companies have a million pounds set aside and banks are unlikely to lend that amount of money against a single contract.
“Rather than turn the contract down, because we were unable to fund it, we approached Ultimate Finance who agreed to provide 85 per cent of the full invoice on this single debtor, which I believe is unique.
“Thanks to the facility we are able to continue to grow the company and provide drivers to other bus and coach companies across the UK.”

Commenting on the facility, regional director for Ultimate Finance in the North West, Mark Holland, said,

“With traditional banks still reluctant to lend many successful SMEs are being held back because of a lack of funding. Meridian Driver is a case in point. It is a well-run business dealing with blue chip accounts so we had no hesitation in advancing them the funds so they could fulfil the contract. Rather than putting obstacles in the way, we look for the ways we can help to fund the cashflow.”

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