Everyone at SES takes pride in the company’s high standard of service: if a customer requires an obscure item, they do everything to secure it; if a customer requires something urgently, they make sure it arrives in good time.
The objectiveIn 2016, SES was looking to stimulate business growth, but found typical routes to finance unsatisfactory. Its existing invoice funding arrangement could be extended no further, and if it hoped to expand, it needed to tap into the liquidity of its considerable asset base. In search of an alternative, SES brought in Breal Consulting.
Mick Welden, a consultant from Breal, said: “SES needed a full suite of services: property, asset, and invoice finance, amongst others. They also needed a lender with an open mind: though SES is a company with a long history and a proven track record, the steel industry is considered something of a risk at the moment – and banks tend to be fairly conservative about who they’ll finance in any case.”
Working with NucleusBreal and SES investigated several conventional sources of finance, but all were found wanting. Acting on a recommendation, they approached Nucleus Commercial Finance. “We’d heard that they were flexible and reliable, and we needed a lender who would be able to provide a variety of different finance types – so we set up a meeting”, Welden commented.
The companies first met in April 2016, when SES and Breal presented the company’s objectives to Nucleus. Chirag Shah, CEO of Nucleus, commented: “We were aware that SES required substantial finance across a number of areas – and that they required it quickly. We didn’t really see a problem: the business was successful, established, and we didn’t perceive any risk of default. That a bank says no to a particular deal does not make it a bad deal.”
Shah and his team took a commercial approach to the transaction: they had the experience to put together a workable, attractive solution – and after a brief period of negotiations, all parties agreed an invoice finance, asset finance, and property finance package worth £14.5 million. Nucleus would refinance SES’ equipment using its asset funding offering; it would use property finance in the form of secured business loans to fund further growth; and it would have access to an invoice finance facility with a larger, more flexible limit.
It was the largest ever deal of its kind in the P2P sector – and what’s more, it was organised and concluded very quickly. When talks were concluded, money was transferred within two weeks.
ResultsNucleus’ financial package played an invaluable role in facilitating SES’ growth. The company is able to purchase and sell whatever stock it requires, and it is in an excellent position for the future.
In the meantime, SES continues to benefit from Nucleus’ experience and advice. “Post-loan support so far has been exceptional”, remarked Welden. “Transitioning from an old lender to a new one is often complicated, and you don’t expect to have this level of access to decision-makers after the deal’s been agreed. Nucleus has offered, and continues to offer, superb levels of support.
“Everyone at SES is sure of a bright, profitable future. We’re glad to have approached Chirag and his team.”