Arbuthnot Commercial ABL delivers £3.75m funding package to Specialist Crafts

Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending (ABL) has structured and delivered a £3.75m facility for Specialist Crafts, the UK’s largest supplier of art, craft and design materials to educators across the world. The comprehensive funding package comprised of an invoice discounting facility and a CBILS loan.

Having completed a management buyout just one month before, new CEO David Edwards and his management team faced a crucial challenge that would have an immediate impact on 90% of their business; the closure of all schools as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arbuthnot Commercial ABL acted quickly to deliver an injection of working capital to combat the sharp fall in revenue experienced by the business, in addition to ongoing funding to enable the company to trade out of the crisis strongly as schools prepared to return. Arbuthnot Commercial ABL structured an offer in principle in under a week and completed the deal in less than a month.

Founded in 1991, Specialist Crafts has achieved a dominant position as the one-stop-shop supplier of specialist arts and crafts materials to the UK secondary education market, holding a significant share of the market.

David Edwards, Managing Director at Specialist Crafts, said: “The team at Arbuthnot Commercial ABL has been a pleasure to work with. With easy access to their team, we were able to secure the level of headroom we required in a tight timeframe. The total funding package we received not only bridged a short-term funding gap, but helped us to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown strongly. As a result, we now have the ability to plan for the future with confidence and the agility to manage further disruption in the coming months and years ahead.

“CBILS has not been easy to secure for many companies. However, this deal proves that with the right funding partner the scheme can achieve exactly what was intended; ensuring that viable businesses suffering from a short-term COVID-19 impact gain rapid access to the finance they require, when they need it most.”