Non-bank capital provider, ApexPeak, closed a US$23 million export finance deal with South African citrus fruit grower Karu Exporters, a subsidiary of the Bonaire Group. The export finance deal, originated by Aztec Exchange, will see Karu receive monthly disbursements in various currencies (US$, €, ¥ and £) until the end of 2014.
Karu used the early cash advance on their export receivables to purchase the production lease of a farm, renowned for producing large volumes of quality fruit. Karu exports 4.5 million cartons of fruit per year to over 20 different countries, and the company accounts for over 5% of South Africa’s citrus fruit exports.
Since February 2014, Aztec Exchange and ApexPeak have completed over 23 receivables transactions spanning the globe. The relationship between the two firms is symbiotic; Aztec Exchange originates funding opportunities through a network of introducers, while ApexPeak provides non-bank capital.
“Demand for exports outstripped Karu’s cash availability. ApexPeak was the most scalable choice for Karu, because ApexPeak would finance against receivables and not assets,” said Oliver Gabbay, chief operating officer of Aztec Exchange.
The entire deal was executed at break-neck speed, taking only ten days thanks to efficient document sharing on Aztec Exchange and ApexPeak’s US$1.3 billion in financing line.
“ApexPeak is an experienced financier of export receivables. For Aztec, that's a good thing. Not only because ApexPeak guarantees the funds are in place, but it understands the risks and documents required to make an export
finance deal work,” said Mr Gabbay.
The Karu transaction underlines a common business dilemma. Businesses see opportunities but do not necessarily have the cash on hand to seize the opportunity.
“I would note the speed at which Aztec and ApexPeak were able to execute allowed us to acquire the farm’s production, being a key part of our growth strategy. They were able to do things differently from a bank and could upsize the financing quickly without overly onerous requirements, and this provided us with the flexibility to secure the farm,” said Adriaan Jonker, CFO of Karu Exporters.
“Having access to capital can be a game changer. Karu was savvy enough to realise the Aztec and ApexPeak offering. For some businesses receivables financing is a matter of survival but for others, like Karu, it is used to fund growth and capture market share,” says Mr Gabbay.
Aztec and ApexPeak are expected to complete even more substantial deals leading into Q1 of 2015.
Bonaire Group (parent company of Karu Exporters)
Bonaire commits itself to service, quality and integrity. Bonaire Holdings (Pty) Ltd was established in October 2009. Bonaire Holdings are involved in a number of ventures; including farming operations, fruit and wine exports. The Bonaire Group’s future focus lies with the optimising of new potential business ventures as an ongoing process of securing business success within the global economy.
The Aztec Exchange is an open-access global marketplace for trade receivables. We are the first global marketplace serving not only the domestic supply chain but also the US$14 trillion market for exports that are not funded by banks or other entities. Aztec connects trade suppliers throughout the world with asset managers to whom they can sell their outstanding invoices and thereby raise working capital. With a multi-lingual team of professionals in offices across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas on hand to provide local transaction support and administration services, Aztec has extensive reach and is very well positioned to service supply chains in emerging markets and
credit constrained developed economies. Aztec also offers global supplier funding programs for international corporations.
ApexPeak eases cash-flow problems faced by SMEs and MNCs by buying e-invoices before they fall due. Founded in 2012, the firm provides in excess of US$1.3 billion trade finance to businesses located in 160 countries worldwide.
Anthony Coundouris, Marketing, ApexPeak
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