Champagne Warehouse secures funding deal

YORKSHIRE-BASED Champagne Warehouse has enjoyed a record six months after securing an invoice finance line worth £1.75m from asset-based lender Davenham.

The company specialises in unique and exclusive champagne from small to medium-sized vineyards in France, providing major high street retailers and supermarkets with top quality alternatives to the well-known brand names.

Despite an order book worth £3.5m, Tony Stones, managing director and founder of Champagne Warehouse, was shocked when the firm’s bank reduced its funding line at short notice because of tightened lending criteria.

Mr Stones said, “Their timing could not have been worse; with contracts in place for months, they dropped the bombshell just as we started the Christmas deliveries. As we supply fresh quality champagnes, as well as handling the purchase and importation process ourselves, we faced enormous problems without a transactional stream of funding from the bank.

“We needed to act quickly but other high street banks could not help us at such short notice. Davenham were able to step in quickly, recognising we had a strong and successful business, which enabled us to continue with the deliveries almost immediately. We have started 2009 strongly and look forward to another successful year.”

Nick Smith of Davenham’s Leeds office, who managed the account, said, “All too often mainstream lenders have to enforce a blanket approach to funding lines when times are tough, even if the order book is bursting at the seams. We’re able to be a bit more flexible and review each case individually.

“With Champagne Warehouse, we could instantly see it was a viable business and we were able to complete the deal within five days to ensure they made the deliveries and successfully fulfilled their contracts.”

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