Bridgnorth Aluminium agrees £62m deal to fund expansion

A SHROPSHIRE specialist manufacturer has secured a £62m funding deal to ensure its continued expansion.

Bridgnorth Aluminium, which produces aluminium coils for the food, pharmaceutical and printing industries, has agreed the financial package from the Birmingham office of Lloyds Bank.

The deal encompasses a £45m asset-based lending facility from Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance and £17m of term funding from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The company, a shortlisted finalist in the Exporter (Large) category of this year’s’s West Midlands Business Masters Awards, plans to use the funding to help the business develop, pay for its on-going operation and finance the future expansion of its manufacturing plant.

The company, which has a turnover of £180m and employs around 300 people, is the only business in the UK, and one of just three businesses in Europe, with the capability to manufacture aluminium for lithographic plates. It has specialist experience in hot and cold aluminium rolling, levelling and finishing, and a growing customer base in key overseas markets, particularly across Europe and North America, including blue-chip corporates such as Agfa, Fujifilm and Kodak.

In 2013 approximately 90% of its revenue was from exports.

The business’ purpose-built lithosheet rolling mill and stretch levelling production line is housed at its 60-acre site in Shropshire. The facility, which produces an extensive range of aluminium coils for use on some of the most modern printing plate manufacturing lines in the world, will now be extended as part of the funding deal.

The investment will increase the plant’s capacity to around 150,000 tonnes per year and will make a significant contribution in helping its growth ambitions. The new machinery is set to be operational by the end of 2015.

Simon MacVicker, managing director of Bridgnorth Aluminium said: “Our business has grown considerably in recent years and we needed to expand our existing manufacturing operations in Shropshire. This investment in manufacturing plant meets our current needs and provides us with plenty of capacity to grow our operations in the future, particularly in export markets in North America.

“Lloyds Bank has worked closely with us to support this expansion, reflecting their belief in our business model and development strategy. Their total solution for our business, with a mixture of term loan and asset based facilities really helps us as it offers flexible support to cope with exchange rate and commodity price volatility as we compete in world markets.”

Sam Owen, Client Manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance, said: “Bridgnorth Aluminium is a well-established specialist aluminium coils manufacturer business, providing a high quality service to customers both here in the UK and in key European and North American markets.

“Asset-based lending facilities are ideally suited to companies that rely on working capital; for manufacturers like Bridgnorth Aluminium that have significant export operations it effectively lifts the cashflow restrictions they face due to growth and commodity price volatility, providing the business with the financing it needs to remain active in a competitive industry.”

Birmingham-based law firm Eversheds advised Bridgnorth Aluminium on the deal. Its team consisted of Patrick Davis, Nathan Pritchard and Alex McCarney.