W.L. West & Sons turns to Arbuthnot Commercial ABL for growth funding facility after 100 years
When family-owned timber merchant, W.L. West & Sons, was seeking an increased level of funding to drive its plans for future growth, the business made its decision to move facilities to Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending (ABL) – following over a century with its previous bankers.
Arbuthnot Commercial ABL structured and delivered a £750,000 confidential invoice discounting line, designed to grow automatically with the business, without the inherent restrictions of the company’s previous fixed-ceiling overdraft facility.
Based in Petworth, West Sussex, the foundation of the business dates back to the original felling records of 1865 and the great, great grandfather of the current joint managing director, Dave West. Still firmly in family hands, with three of the original founder’s grandchildren and four of his great-grandchildren involved in the business, the company is today a premier supplier of kiln and air-dried European Oak. One of the larger temperate hardwood sawmills in the country today, the business is focussed on delivering bespoke product and its customers include architects and specifiers, construction companies and builders, restoration specialists and automated gate companies.
Andrew Rutherford, commercial director at Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Ltd., commented: “We are truly delighted to have had the opportunity to provide growth funding for W.L. West & Sons. For a long-established family business to start a new relationship with a funding provider after over 100 years is a very important decision and, we appreciate, one that is not taken lightly. That they selected Arbuthnot Commercial ABL means a great deal to us as we look forward to developing a long-term relationship to support the continued growth of the business as it builds on its proud history.”
Dave West, joint managing director, W.L. West & Sons Ltd, said: “We were feeling for some time that the loyalty with our previous provider had become somewhat ‘one-way’ and when the opportunity to grow the business arose, we made the decision to explore alternative financing options. We found Arbuthnot Commercial ABL’s approach refreshing and a real cut above the other providers we have met. They researched our business thoroughly prior to meeting us and we could tell that they were very positive about supporting the transaction from the word ‘go’. The experience of working with Arbuthnot Commercial ABL was completely indicative of the feelings that we had from our very first meeting. There is not a huge chain of command and they are able to make decisions quickly, ensuring a very smooth process. With the flexible new facility in place, it is now up to us to get the invoicing done and jobs underway as we accelerate the growth of the business.”