Whisky Asset Based Lending is all in Good Spirits yet is Crown Preference Proposals putting Floating Charge Lending at risk?

Published on: 4th June 2019

In an ever-changing market; and as uncertain factors rest on the horizon, borrowers and lenders together face many challenges from stockpiling to the Crown preference queue jumping proposals, yet whisky asset based lending (ABL) is raising spirits in the sector.

Whisky has become a big growth area for ABL regardless of the sector understood to be ‘cash rich’. The increasing number of distilleries, small or large, looking for growth and/or investment have viewed ABL as a significant opportunity. With a business retaining assets of great value; lay in maturation warehouses for many years generating no cash, releasing funds on spirit and mature whisky as an appreciating asset has been an increasingly popular source of working capital for companies.

There are currently over 130 active distilleries producing Scotch Whisky with the sector vital to the Scottish and UK economies, adding £5 billion in value each year, supporting more than 40,000 jobs and exporting £4 billion of Scotch annually to almost 200 markets.

The USA remains the number one market by value, growing 14% to reach £865m. Consumers are seeking out premium products and Single Malts benefited from such trends with value up 22% to £267m last year. There was increased demand from a number of larger European markets, including Spain, the fourth biggest market, up almost 10% to £167m; Germany, the number five market, up 13% to £164m and Poland, up 19% to £63m. This reflects some improved economic performance and continued growing popularity of Scotch across parts of Europe. India is becoming increasingly significant with value of exports up almost 14% to £97m to make it the ninth biggest market for Scotch yet its full potential will not be realised until its 150% import tariff is reduced.

Scotch is realistically the biggest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods. Without the impact of Scotch Whisky, the UK trade in goods deficit would have been 2.8% larger at almost £139bn with Scotch Whisky accounting for over a fifth of the UK's total food and drink exports.

Volume is now up almost 5% to more than 1.2 billion bottles; almost 39 bottles exported every second. Single Malt Scotch exports are worth more than £1bn for the first time; up almost 12% to £1.02bn, an equivalent of 113m bottles shipped overseas.

Whisky is well positioned to take advantage of ABL. Whilst there could be good lending potential associated to a distilleries debtors and fixed assets, the nature of maturing spirit and whisky is more attractive that in most sectors with its value appreciating over time. A growing number of distilleries have successfully raised funds against maturing casked spirit and whisky stocks to support investment and growth. Sanderson Weatherall is respected, trusted and renowned advisors in the sector.

Risks loom with UK ABL under threat from the 2020 Crown Preference proposals in respect of floating charge lending. The Crown is once more considered to be ‘jumping the queue’. Lenders secured on an inventory floating charge may well be exposed and under collateralised in an insolvency. Crown liabilities need to be up to date to mitigate exposure and risk. Should proposals be approved; and there continues to be a great deal of opposition, floating charge lending could be as risky as unsecured lending.

The UK needs reliable access to ABL funds to operate; and putting floating charges at risk may restrict access to flexible funding in the future, which will only be detrimental to HMRC in the long term. We recommend that asset based lenders engage Sanderson Weatherall to assess and review current floating charge exposure whether proposals are approved or otherwise to assess collateral security on the existing portfolio and revolving floating charge facilities. There are options to circumnavigate; and options are available particularly with the whisky sector although not limited or isolated to this sector or inventory class.

Sanderson Weatherall are perfectly positioned to support lenders and SMEs through the challenges and risks ahead offering advice and due diligence to assess the exposure and options to mitigate the risk in all cases. We provide independent and specialist all asset class valuations and sector guidance relating to all sectors utilising inventory floating charge and receivable fixed charge facilities, along with plant and machinery and property term loans.

We are forward thinking specialist advisors to the ABL sector, with offices nationwide, providing professional advice and support throughout the UK and Ireland supporting both domestic UK and cross border European transactions. Our advice extends to Corporate Finance Advisors, Private Equity Investors, Restructuring Specialists, Accountants and businesses direct delivering flexible, efficient and detailed advice.

To read the story on Insider Media please click here.

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Asset Based Lending Specialist Support

In an ever-changing market; and as uncertain factors rest on the horizon, borrowers and lenders together face many challenges. Christian Humphreys, partner in our asset-based lending team commented on the specialist support that ABL can offer. Asset Based Lending (“ABL”) remains an important route to funding for many retailers, wholesalers and manufacturing small to medium enterprise (“SME”) businesses in particular; and will continue to be a key access to funds both in its current guise and in future form as funding and security pools change. ABL remains the most fluid and flexible form of security with SMEs reliant on floating charge lending incorporating inventory revolving facilities along with the primary invoice finance form of ABL supported by additional plant and machinery and property term loan facilities.

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In an ever-changing market; and as uncertain factors rest on the horizon, borrowers and lenders together face many challenges. Christian Humphreys, partner in our asset-based lending team commented on the specialist support that ABL can offer.

Asset Based Lending (“ABL”) remains an important route to funding for many retailers, wholesalers and manufacturing small to medium enterprise (“SME”) businesses in particular; and will continue to be a key access to funds both in its current guise and in future form as funding and security pools change. ABL remains the most fluid and flexible form of security with SMEs reliant on floating charge lending incorporating inventory revolving facilities along with the primary invoice finance form of ABL supported by additional plant and machinery and property term loan facilities.

[fulltext] =>

Investors use ABL to support acquisitions, as do MBO/MBIs deals, both of which have maintained traction amid economic and market uncertainty. Brexit has presented many challenges for UK businesses reliant on or exposed to Europe with some stockpiling due to the unknown, tariffs and variable trade restrictions that may well be implemented, which can prove to be an issue when cashflow is tight. Purchasing in advance leads to reduced cash availability in order to thrive withadded costs hindering a business. ABL eases cashflow issues and concerns via fixed and floating charge facilities.

ABL enables business to raise higher levels of funding to facilitate strategic plans or simply release additional working capital. ABL can offer higher levels of funding than invoice finance alone and release working capital against inventory, plant and machinery and property as noted. ABL is a bespoke solution, designed around a borrower’s specific requirements. For businesses with proof of strong cash generation in the past and positive cash forecast for the future, cash flow loans may also be available to further top up funding lines where appropriate.

Further risks loom with UK ABL under threat from the 2020 Crown Preference plans with proposals for the crown to be preferential in respect of floating charge lending that would likely impact inventory in particular. Undoing the Enterprise Act effectively leads to the crown once more ‘jumping the queue’. Lenders secured on an inventory floating charge may well be exposed and under collateralised in an insolvency. Crown liabilities need to be up to date to mitigate exposure and risk. Should proposals be approved; and there continues to be a great deal of opposition, floating charge lending could be as risky as unsecured lending. The UK needs reliable access to ABL funds to operate; and putting floating charges at risk may restrict access to flexible funding in the future, which will only be detrimental to HMRC in the long term.

We are perfectly positioned to support lenders and SMEs through the challenges and risks ahead offering advice and due diligence to assess the exposure and options to mitigate the risk. We provide independent and specialist all asset class valuations and sector guidance relating to inventory floating charge and receivable fixed charge facilities, along with plant and machinery and property term loans.

Contact Us

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Asset based lending

Asset Based Lending ("ABL") is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional funding. ABL allows businesses to acquire funding against all asset classes including; • Accounts Receivable• Inventory• Plant & Machinery• Property Here at Sanderson Weatherall, we provide specialist advice and support to Asset Based Lenders across the UK and Ireland; supporting both domestic UK and cross border European transactions. Our advice also extends further to Corporate Finance Advisors, Private Equity Investors and direct to businesses. Collateral valuations and due diligence surveys are an important part of the secured asset based lenders considerations when considering new and reviewing existing portfolio - ABL transactions and are a major requirement of the credit process. These valuations and surveys support the lenders structured deal offering and are vital in the decision making process for secured lending on acquisitions, refinance and MBO/MBI deals. We have a unique team with extensive UK, European and US experience in collateral valuation, due diligence, risk profiling, portfolio management and exit strategy. We offer collateral valuation and due diligence primarily on the following asset classes: • Accounts Receivable• Commodity Inventory• Commercial and Industrial Manufacturing Inventory• Wholesale Inventory• Plant and Machinery• Property With the knowledge and experience here at Sanderson Weatherall, given our national coverage, we have the range of skills to support the needs for collateral reviews, due diligence, valuation for all secured lending requirements; whether new business, managing existing lending portfolios or advising on risk and recovery profiles. Click here to view our recent case studies

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Asset Based Lending ("ABL") is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional funding. ABL allows businesses to acquire funding against all asset classes including;

• Accounts Receivable
• Inventory
• Plant & Machinery
• Property

Here at Sanderson Weatherall, we provide specialist advice and support to Asset Based Lenders across the UK and Ireland; supporting both domestic UK and cross border European transactions. Our advice also extends further to Corporate Finance Advisors, Private Equity Investors and direct to businesses.

Collateral valuations and due diligence surveys are an important part of the secured asset based lenders considerations when considering new and reviewing existing portfolio - ABL transactions and are a major requirement of the credit process. These valuations and surveys support the lenders structured deal offering and are vital in the decision making process for secured lending on acquisitions, refinance and MBO/MBI deals.

We have a unique team with extensive UK, European and US experience in collateral valuation, due diligence, risk profiling, portfolio management and exit strategy.

We offer collateral valuation and due diligence primarily on the following asset classes:

• Accounts Receivable
• Commodity Inventory
• Commercial and Industrial Manufacturing Inventory
• Wholesale Inventory
• Plant and Machinery
• Property

With the knowledge and experience here at Sanderson Weatherall, given our national coverage, we have the range of skills to support the needs for collateral reviews, due diligence, valuation for all secured lending requirements; whether new business, managing existing lending portfolios or advising on risk and recovery profiles.

Click here to view our recent case studies

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features on the UK Commercial Property Market from Award Winning Property Consultancy Sanderson Weatherall [secure] => 0 [page_description] => [page_rights] => [robots] => [access-view] => 1 ) [initialized:protected] => 1 [separator] => . ) ) URL: /asset-based-lending

Appointment strengthens market leading asset advisory team

Our internationally recognised asset-based lending valuation and advisory team continues to go from strength to strength with the appointment of Heidi Otto. Heidi brings with her 18 years’ experience in the corporate recovery and business restructuring industry having spent the last 16 years at BDO. She has also benefitted from secondments within the Lloyds Banking Group where she worked in the Business Support Unit and Commercial Finance team.

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Our internationally recognised asset-based lending valuation and advisory team continues to go from strength to strength with the appointment of Heidi Otto.

Heidi brings with her 18 years’ experience in the corporate recovery and business restructuring industry having spent the last 16 years at BDO. She has also benefitted from secondments within the Lloyds Banking Group where she worked in the Business Support Unit and Commercial Finance team.

[fulltext] =>

The move follows a number of important client wins and a further increase in market share for the team.

Head of our asset-based lending team Christian Humphreys said, “Heidi brings unique experience to the team with her variety of roles at BDO that supplement the dynamic of the existing team credentials. Heidi’s knowledge and professionalism will be instrumental in ensuring we maintain our leading position in the market.

“No-one can truly know the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the effect it will have on the markets but we are continuing to see growth in demand for our services and Heidi’s appointment will allow us to meet this increased demand and market share moving forward. Companies are continually looking at new ways to secure funding lines and unlocking cash tied up in assets by way of revolving or term loan facilities is one way to do this.”

Heidi commented on her appointment, “In my previous role I worked closely with Sanderson Weatherall and I’m pleased to have joined the asset based lending valuation and advisory team. The team continue to grow and have a clear plan for expansion moving forward and I’m really excited to be a part of it, especially with so many opportunities across a wide variety of sectors.”

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=> 1 [layout_type] => blog [menu_text] => 1 [page_title] => Latest News and Insight on the UK Commercial Property Market | Sanderson Weatherall [page_heading] => Latest News [menu-meta_description] => News, industry insight and features on the UK Commercial Property Market from Award Winning Property Consultancy Sanderson Weatherall [secure] => 0 [page_description] => [page_rights] => [robots] => [access-view] => 1 ) [initialized:protected] => 1 [separator] => . ) ) URL: /news/8-latest-news/1600-appointment-strengthens-market-leading-asset-advisory-team?layout=default&breadcrumb=noimage

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