International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, today announced that Ford has received a £625m loan facility from commercial banks with support from a £500m guarantee from UK Export Finance (UKEF) during a visit to Ford of Britain’s engine production plant in Dagenham.
UKEF will provide the guarantee under its Export Development Guarantee (EDG), a new facility launched today that will support high-value commercial lending to UK exporters.
Before now, UKEF’s support had to be tied to an individual export contract. UKEF is now able to support a company’s general export activities using the EDG, unlocking its financial support for companies that wish to secure working capital to bid for multiple export contracts; scale up their existing export activities; and invest in new premises and technologies linked to exports.
Ford of Britain is one of the UK’s largest exporters and the company already exports to more than 15 countries in six continents, with overseas sales generating around £2.5bn annually.
The loan will increase Ford’s capacity to export from the UK; support investment into electrification, digital manufacturing and smart mobility solutions; and upskill its UK workforce to safeguard thousands of highly skilled jobs at the Ford Britain Dunton Campus in Essex and engine production centre in Dagenham.
Ford of Britain manufactures its engines for global export at Dagenham and the company designs its next generation commercial vehicles, such as the best-selling Ford Transit cargo van – at Dunton. Ford is reinventing its product development and manufacturing processes in the UK to reduce vehicle emissions and make the UK campus its global innovation centre. To that end, Ford will be launching its first all-electric Transit Van in 2021.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said: “This deal firmly puts the UK at the heart of Ford’s plans to grow its export business, reduce emissions and support skilled manufacturing jobs. A thriving automotive industry is vital to the success of the UK economy. It brings prosperity and security to manufacturers across the country. That’s why we are putting its needs at the heart of our strategy to remove barriers to trade when negotiating free trade deals.”
Chairman, Ford of Britain, Graham Hoare, said: “Ford’s manufacturing operations are already an export success story, with around 85% of engines and 100% of transmissions built in the UK exported. This financing will help to maintain Ford as a key UK exporter. I would like to thank UKEF for their confidence, and Citi who acted as coordinator and facility agent for the £625m loan facility with a repayment term of five years.”
Mandated lead arrangers and lenders for the loan were Barclays Bank plc, Citibank N.A. London Branch, National Westminster Bank plc, Lloyds Bank plc and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation London Branch.