Thanks for dropping in for some hopefully great business info and on occasion some hopefully not too sarcastic comments on the state of Business Financing in Canada and what we are doing about it !

In 2004 I founded 7 PARK AVENUE FINANCIAL. At that time I had spent all my working life, at that time - Over 30 years in Commercial credit and lending and Canadian business financing. I believe the commercial lending landscape has drastically changed in Canada. I believe a void exists for business owners and finance managers for companies, large and small who want service, creativity, and alternatives.

Every day we strive to consistently deliver business financing that you feel meets the needs of your business. If you believe as we do that financing solutions and alternatives exist for your firm we want to talk to you. Our purpose is simple: we want to deliver the best business finance solutions for your company.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Canadian ABL Lending vs. Bank Loans - Which Offers The Best Financing Facility ?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to determine the difference between abl lending in the Canadian marketplace vs. similar business financing loans offered by chartered banks .

A significant amount of confusion exists in the Canadian business financing arena around the definition and use of ABL lending. In the context that we are talking about we're focusing on a comprehensive business financing credit arrangement that provides you with a total borrowing facility based on primarily receivables and inventory, but also equipment and real estate when that comes into play .

There are many subsets of abl lending in Canada. The two dominant factors that play a role in theses subsets are size of facility, and single focus financing, such as receivables only. Additional the overall credit quality of your firm (i.e. good, bad and ugly) ultimately drives what type of facility you choose/obtain.

Can anyone raise their hand and answer why abl loans (by the way they are not loans per se) are deemed by many to be the savior of Canadian business financing. We sure can - its because they have the simply ability to offer financing when traditional bank financing is not available ,and, even to a stronger point, abl loans don’t discriminate when it comes to size of the facility . Generally these facilities range from 250k on the small end to tens of millions of dollars at the high end. Oh, and by the way, many of Canada's largest corporations use this type of financing, unbeknownst to the average follower of Canadian business financing.

So again, whats better for your firm ? We have got nothing against traditional bank operating loans, they have served Canada well for a hundred years, however , they can be restrictive when it comes to size of facility, renewals of your facility on different terms, and , most importantly limiting on what can be financed and for how much .

Quick example based on a real world scenario. Manufacturing company 'A' has a bank financing operating facility that margins their receivables to 75% of total value, and inventory to a cap of, let’s say 750k. However, manufacturing company 'A' is growing quickly, requires additional inventory, and has receivable growth commensurate with sales growth. The challenge in a traditional banking arrangement is that the company is restricted in ability to grow commensurate with their working capital needs .Would banks step in. Maybe, possibly, who knows ?

However, we can almost guarantee this same type of problem or challenge our company 'A' is facing would be met head on in an ABL lending scenario. Why , simply because abl financing is based on assets, so as the firms inventory and receivable investment grows so does the facility, pretty well automatically .

Many Canadian firms that are smaller and medium in size unfortunately don’t qualify for what we call a true pure play ABL, simply based on deal economics , size of facility, and asset categories. Does it end there?

Definitely not, as working capital facilities, mini ABL’’s we could call them, are available that finance a combo of A/R and inventory, accounts receivable only (typically called factoring financing), with potential to add on purchase order financing when that makes sense. Our mini ABL’’s, aka working capital facilities are priced significantly higher that true asset based lines of credit, but offer the same flexibility and access to capital .

So, is there a bottom line? The old saying ' the trend is your friend ' is applicable - more and more firms are investigating abl lending and benchmarking it against bank loans. Do not, we repeat, do not investigate this type of financing if you have all the business credit you need and have no challenges in working capital financing and business growth! If that’s not you, speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor who can help you benchmark abl loans vs. bank financing facility.

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