GE Capital supplies £18m in August

The asset based lender agreed five UK transactions in August, showing the strength of business confidence is converting into investment, GE said.

GE Capital agreed finance packages with five UK customers in August worth £18 million ($29.2 million; €22.6 million), leading to a relatively busy month, it said.

The finance packages include an £8 million finance facility to support the sale of food distributor BFP Wholesale to private equity consortium Zimt Holding and a £4.25 million funding package to support the management buyout of Armour Home Electronics from Armour Group.

Three other companies have secured funding for ongoing working capital requirements, enabling investment in a range of business improvements and sales growth opportunities, GE said in a statement.

Ian Wilkins (pictured), business leader at commercial & corporate finance at GE Capital, said: “Confidence in the UK mid-market has been strong throughout 2014, but as the recovery becomes more established this is now converting into real, tangible investment in R&D, equipment and staffing.”

Research from the lender earlier this year on the UK mid-market, defined as companies with annual turnover of £15 million to £800 million, found that these companies are particularly optimistic about sales growth, predicting more than 6 percent over the next 12 months. 35 percent of these companies still see growth plans constrained by a lack of available finance, however, GE said.

Wilkins said: “With bank lending to UK businesses still under pressure post-recession, British companies are looking at a wider range of finance options to help make the most of growth opportunities.”

The pick-up in activity reflects a broader industry trend, GE said, highlighting the latest figures from the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) which showed that a record £18.9 billion was borrowed from asset based lenders in the UK and Ireland in the second quarter of 2014.