Exeter manufacturer secures £9m from HSBC UK to diversify during COVID-19

Covid-19 News | Funding | South West

The UK’s first and only manufacturer of aluminium composite panels (ACPs) has secured a £9m finance facility from HSBC UK to diversify its product range, move into new markets and safeguard the future of the business amid the coronavirus crisis.

Multipanel UK, which is based in Exeter and typically makes ACPs for industries such as sign making, exhibition stand design and architecture, has used the funding to make changes to its core product to meet demand from other industries for screen materials that can be used in shops, offices and leisure facilities. The funding was also used to stabilise cash flow at a time when many of the company’s existing customers were closed due to coronavirus.

Five million pounds of the loan was secured from the government-backed Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and £4m was in extended trade loans and invoice finance facilities.

Andrew Cock, Chairman of Multipanel UK, said: “We’ve been working with HSBC UK for the last 13 years and in that time the team has really got under the skin of the business to fully understand our often complex funding requirements. The mutual respect we have for each other meant that when coronavirus hit, both parties were able to move without hesitation.

“Having the flexibility and freedom to adapt quickly has enabled us to be agile with our customers, both new and old. This latest round of funding has been instrumental in allowing us to really concentrate on the business and even upgrade some projects which are now complete six months ahead of schedule.”

James Jordan, Head of Corporate Banking, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, HSBC UK, added: “Multipanel UK is a fantastic example of a successful Exeter business with international reach which has gone from strength-to-strength despite the onset of the coronavirus crisis. The funding put in place by HSBC UK has essentially bookended the company; giving it the headroom it needed to diversify and keep its working capital buoyant at the beginning of lockdown, while ensuring the company is in the best possible position to continue operating after lockdown.”

Multipanel UK, which is also the largest stockist of ACPs in the world, works with approved distributors in more than 60 countries across five continents, giving customers global access to its range of high quality, rigid substrates. It has a manufacturing plant and distribution centre, both based in Dover.

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