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Half Year Highlights

12 Aug 2020

There is no doubt that the ensuing uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the business environment in the first half of 2020 has created significant challenges for many SMEs. Whilst financial institutions have been inclined to look inwards and turn down the dial on new business, BZ has maintained an unrelenting focus on supporting the funding needs of UK businesses, supporting both current clients and developing new opportunities alike.

Increased Facility Size – £150M full underwrite and hold

  • In April 2020, the market welcomed the announcement that we have increased the size of our structured ABL facilities to a £150m full underwrite and hold, underpinning our strong appetite to deliver large, complex working capital and corporate structuring solutions to mid-market businesses.

Landmark Transactions

  • Oak Furnitureland. We recently supported Davidson Kempner Capital Management’s acquisition of Oak Furnitureland with substantial new funding, backing the management’s business plan to secure the retailer’s future.
  • Sonan Bunkers (UK) Ltd. Here, we completed a USD $10,000,000 export receivables finance facility to support the expansion of Sonan Bunkers (UK) Ltd. This transaction, which has an 18-month facility term, delivered more than double the quantum of Sonan’s previous finance facility.

Driving Expansion

  • We have continued to roll out our expansion programme despite the pandemic crisis, evidenced by a string of high profile appointments. In June, Robert Wakeford joined the business as Managing Director, UK Sales and Kevin Yates was appointed as Risk Director. BZ has further strengthened its sales team with Regional Sales Director appointments in Manchester and Birmingham.

The Numbers Speak for Themselves:

  • Since January 2020, we have completed £66m of new transactions
  • Total advances have grown by 323% in support of our clients
  • Credit approved offers for new facilities have totalled £280m
  • Our new business pipeline is now in excess of £600m and growing

Looking Ahead

Robert Wakeford, Managing Director, UK Sales comments: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners for their support during this period, enabling us to reach more businesses in need of dynamic and flexible funding. We are now seeing businesses emerging from lockdown in several distinct phases, creating significant and exciting new opportunities for ABL to drive transformation and growth. Some are in the ‘Recovery’ phase, in which management teams are seeking to manage and increase liquidity to stabilise and turnaround the business. Others are in ‘Realignment’ or ‘Reinvention’ phases, in which they are focusing on enhancing digital infrastructure and operational efficiency to create greater resilience, or where they have seen an opportunity to pivot into profitable new areas and explore new models. Increasingly, progressive management teams are embarking on a ‘Realisation’ phase, scanning the horizon for further buy and build acquisitions to drive competitive advantage and economies of scale. These businesses are now actively seeking funding that will enable them to secure technology, talent, enhanced distribution, complementary products or increased geographical reach. With ‘dry powder’ at the ready to invest in these acquisitive groups, Private Equity, in combination with ABL, will have a pivotal role in driving business emergence and accelerating growth. The key to success that unites businesses in each of these phases is their ability to access a higher level of funding delivered at pace, so that they can mitigate challenges quickly and secure important opportunities.”