Lincolnshire-based Specialist Heat Exchangers (SHE) has secured a £4.6 million finance package from HSBC’s Leicestershire Commercial team to support the company’s expansion into the US, Middle East, South America and China. The finance facility will also enable the company to develop new products, widening the markets it can serve.
SHE provides specialist thermal solutions for global automotive and industrial customers, from concept design through thermal and mechanical engineering to final manufacture and supply. The North Hykeham-based firm employs 120 people and will be adding a further seven as a result of its planned growth.
The company generates 45% of its £11 million turnover from the export market, but wants to grow this side of its business and ease its reliance on the European market, which accounts for the majority of its current overseas trade.
The US, China and South America have been identified as key markets to grow its direct trade, whilst SHE recognised the potential of the Middle East after visiting the region as part of HSBC’s Global Connections initiative in December 2012. It has since been out to the Middle East four times, meeting contacts it made through the HSBC trip.
The finance facility includes a significant invoice finance line which gives the company the flexibility to fund sales anywhere in the world with no restriction made up by export. The facility marks the start of a new business banking relationship with HSBC and the deal was led on behalf of the bank by Senior International Commercial Manager Graham Brown.
SHE will also use the finance to support its research and development programme, specifically to develop a new internal heat exchanger (IHX) product for use in automotive air conditioner systems, as well as improving its management control systems. The company is building its own design and test rig to support the development of the product.
Ian Sheriff, SHE Managing Director, said: “The finance package arranged with HSBC is helping us to develop direct sales into the likes of the US, South America, China and the Middle East. We are already in these markets via indirect supply, but we want to move up the chain and deal with the end customer rather than through a middle contact. This has many potential benefits for our business.”
He adds: “The Middle East trip was a real eye opener for our business and what we have achieved in four months with Global Connections would have taken two years normally. The contacts we made on the trip really opened doors for us. We supply to the oil and gas industry and the Middle East is starting to develop its offshore energy industry as well as onshore, so there is real opportunity for our products.”
Paul Turk, HSBC Leicestershire Area Commercial Director, said: “SHE is a fabulous business that has expanded globally and we have developed a flexible funding package that enables the company to develop this side of its business. It continues to invest in its products to innovate and that has been rewarded by strong overseas sales. We are pleased to welcome the company to HSBC and we look forwarding to partnering SHE as it develops.”
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