20 February 2019

Eland Cables: flexible funding

Sustained international growth meant that Eland Cables needed a banking partner that they could work with in the long-term to provide support to match their business ambitions. HSBC’s global reach, trade expertise and their willingness to fully understand the business and its needs offered the relationship Eland Cables was looking for.

Background: Founded in 1975, Eland Cables Ltd is a global supplier of power, data, control and instrumentation cables and cable accessories. Following a management buy-out (MBO) in 2005, Eland Cables has enjoyed considerable growth. It operates across a number of industries including rail, infrastructure, automation, mining and oil & gas, supplying quality-conscious organisations all over the world.

Headquartered in London, Eland Cables operates primarily from purpose-built facilities in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, but is a truly international business. It is particularly active across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. Given the breadth of its product range, Eland Cables also sources materials from a wide range of countries.

With an emphasis on delivering quality, Eland Cables boasts a specialist in-house cable testing laboratory, UKAS-accredited to ISO 17025, as well as offering a wealth of technical support, to provide customers with a complete cable solution. In 2018, Eland Cables introduced the BSI Kitemark for Cable Testing, in conjunction with the British Standard Institute, a first amongst cable suppliers.

The challenge: Significant growth and a strategy that would see Eland Cables consolidate and pursue further international expansion in the future, meant that the business had outgrown its incumbent, regional bank of 10-years’ standing.

“Whilst very supportive of our business, our existing bank did not have the infrastructure, technical expertise and lending capacity to meet our trading requirements,” explains Chief Financial Officer Jean-Sébastien Pelland. “We had reached the point where it was time for us to move to a tier 1 bank.”

In addition, Eland Cables needed a global bank capable of supporting its international growth ambitions. “We sell into over 100 countries each year, many of which aren’t considered mainstream,” says Jean-Sébastien. “We also source materials from around the world, so we needed a bank that was comfortable handling large volumes and large amounts in different currencies, and could help us manage that exposure.”

Importantly, Eland Cables was also looking to develop a long-term personal relationship with a bank that could support its plans over an extended period.

“As a fast-growing, dynamic business with an international footprint, it was essential for us to find like-minded banking partners and HSBC fulfilled our criteria,” says Philip Brown, CEO. “As the leading London-based international bank, HSBC was a natural banking partner for us.”

The solutions: “Creating a holistic solution that looks at Eland Cables’ immediate and long-term funding and banking needs has been a key part of establishing a strong relationship with the business,” says Andrea Walker, Senior Business Development Manager, Global Trade and Receivables Finance at HSBC.

Working capital funding supports Eland Cables’ growth, responding flexibly with increased facilities to match their projected growth plans. That enables them to undertake such growth, secure in the knowledge that the funding required is in place.

“Eland Cables was keen to have full coverage of their working capital cycle, from procurement through to sales,” explains Andrea. “That could be over a long or a short period of time and they wanted a bank that could provide a solution over that full cycle. We were able to create a joined-up solution through trade and receivables finance.”

“Changing banks is a big deal,” says Jean-Sébastien. “HSBC truly understands the challenges associated with business growth and international trade. Most importantly, they really care about understanding our business and future aspirations, offering expert advice and practical solutions along the way.”

The process: Since the relationship between HSBC and Eland Cables was established in 2014, it has deepened substantially. “The process of creating a solution for Eland Cables was relatively straightforward,” says Andrea. “The key thing was that our extensive global reach meant we were able to support Eland Cables’ international ambitions smoothly.

“Very few institutions will provide receivables finance for products sold in the UK but also internationally. However, that is something we are very good at. Having everything in one place was very important to Eland Cables.”

“Our relationship was founded on HSBC’s deep understanding of international trade, with product experts coordinated by a highly competent team of generalists,” says Jean-Sébastien.

“It’s also refreshing that they introduce new products to us that they anticipate will meet our needs rather than waiting for us to ask. Also, you only truly know the strength of a banking relationship when it is tested. There have been instances where a less attentive team could have overlooked a minor issue that may have grown. At HSBC, their senior managers do not let that happen.”

Charlie Hoborough, Relationship Director at HSBC, agrees: “The strength of our relationship is centred on regular and open dialogue. If something is not working well, we discuss it and find a solution that suits all parties, with our knowledge of the business and its needs further supporting this.

"As Eland Cables enters the next phase of its growth story, HSBC is ready to continue to work alongside the business to ensure they are best positioned to achieve their goals. Our unique international footprint, matched with our sophisticated, market leading capability in trade, means Eland Cables can focus on doing what it does best with the comfort of knowing they have a bank that is fully behind them.”

“The relationship between HSBC and Eland Cables is built on trust, strengthened by regular personal contact at all levels between the teams and transparency about the parties’ respective agenda,” concludes Jean Sébastien. “With HSBC, we are not just a number. We matter to them and they know and understand us.”

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