Leumi ABL managing director Phil Woodward reflects on the business environment during the past 12 months
Leumi ABL managing director Phil Woodward reflects on the business environment during the past 12 months.
Having steered a path through what is undoubtedly the worst global recession in living memory, Leumi ABL is pleased to look back on 2009 and report continuing growth: discounted turnover has almost doubled and both client numbers and funds in use have increased.
As clients seek to maximise available funding, the market appetite for structured asset-based lending facilities continues to grow. Stock, plant and machinery are featuring in increasing numbers of deals alongside invoice finance as clients see this as a more flexible way to fund growth plans.
Notable deal successes include the backing of Walstead Investments, with its acquisition of Southernprint in July when Leumi ABL provided a £4 million facility. Another significant print sector deal came in October with a £25 million working capital facility to a major UK printing group.
Supporting niche manufacturing businesses, Leumi ABL provided a £2.75 million confidential invoice discounting facility and a £200,000 stock line to two of Domes of Silence Group’s subsidiaries: Aluminium Shapes and Windmill Extrusions. In a deal completed in November, Leumi ABL and its parent, Bank Leumi (UK), together provided a range of acquisition and working capital facilities to Polestar Foods to support their acquisition of the non-branded frozen desserts business of HJ Heinz Frozen & Chilled Foods.
Recently there has been a degree of consolidation in the invoice finance market. Leumi ABL is exploiting this opportunity with the launch of a new brand, Leumi Invoice Finance, tailored to the needs of smaller businesses. The combined facilities of Leumi ABL, Leumi Invoice Finance and Bank Leumi (UK) now mean that clients can be supported with funding solutions at all stages of their business life cycle.
As we end 2009, the environment for M&A looks brighter and there is a growing appetite for deals. Leumi ABL has a full pipeline of transactional work and much to build on as the economy begins to emerge from recession.