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Bank of America Business Capital Completes A$50 Million Loan for Atlas Steels

March 08, 2013, 07:49 AM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

Bank of America Business Capital closed a A$50 million asset-based loan for Atlas Steels, expanding its presence in the Australia/New Zealand market. Atlas Steels is the largest stainless and specialty steel manufacturer and supplier in the region.

Atlas Steels, which became private in 2008, recently was acquired by a new owner. The company’s management is revamping its operations, including lowering costs associated with high inventory levels. Atlas has 17 customer service sites in Australia and New Zealand, including a sheet and coil processing plant and a tubular mill that manufactures stainless steel and precision carbon tubular products. To execute its turnaround plan, the company needed to secure flexible capital tailored to its specific goals and objectives.

“The traditional Australian banks tend to be quite limited in the approach they take to lending, being primarily cash-flow or property lenders,” said Malcolm Mitchell, Atlas acting chief financial officer. “This is a dilemma for businesses with large working capital funding needs as the local banks are generally unable to provide the balance sheet leverage that optimizes equity returns. Asset-based lenders with their more insightful approach to evaluating security are able to overcome this limitation. ABL allows Atlas to more fully leverage its balance sheet than otherwise possible.”

Based in Brooklyn, Australia, near Melbourne, Atlas has a 70-year history, a wide product range and more than 5,000 customers. Management believes it is positioned for growth after shifting its focus from manufacturing-based segments where long-term demand is decreasing to an increasing penetration of energy and resource customers. Most of the products are imported, making the cycles of exchange rates and the influence of commodity pricing important challenges for the company.

“The overall capital structure of the company now allows the company to focus increasingly on its operational performance, particularly the improvement to its supply chain and to its growth with customers,” said Atlas Managing Director Steven Annear.

“The Atlas transaction is the result of a strong track record with the owners, demonstrating how much we value relationships,” said Bank of America Business Capital President Jeff McLane. “Atlas Steels and its acquirer showcased our ability to deliver on a complex situation. Our team customized a structure and coordinated service across multiple time zones and countries. Providing financial resources internationally for our clients is extremely important, and this is a great example of how our team and platform are able to deliver for this outstanding client.”

Bank of America Business Capital is one of the world’s largest asset-based lenders, with more than 10 primary offices serving the United States, Canada and Europe. It provides corporate borrowers with senior secured loans of $15 million or more, cash management, interest rate and foreign exchange risk management, and a broad array of capital markets products.



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