Portadown firm gets a lift with Growth Fund loan
Portadown-based Clearlift Material Handling Ltd is set to expand its fleet of material handling equipment and double its workforce over the next three to four years after receiving a Â£500,000 loan from the Growth Loan Fund.
Finance for the £50m Growth Loan Fund – which provides loans to established Northern Ireland SMEs seeking to access growth finance – has been provided by Invest Northern Ireland and private investor, Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC).
Established in 2007, CMHL specialises in the sale and hire of material handling equipment throughout Ireland.
Based in a 10,000 sq ft facility in Portadown, the company’s customer base includes Linden Foods, Murdock Building Supplies, TJ O’Mahoney’s, Cold Move, Decora Blinds and United Wine Merchants.
“The business was originally set up to sell and rent new and refurbished forklifts as well as offering a maintenance service,” said managing director Jonathan Savage.
“We made the decision two years ago to streamline the business and keep it simple, focusing on the selling and rental of new equipment only.
“Our unique selling point is that we offer competitive pricing and high quality equipment to our customers. Over the last few years we have experienced a tremendous level of growth, entering the Republic of Ireland market and relocating to bigger premises in 2014.”
The additional funding support from the fund will initially enable the firm to expand its fleet of equipment by purchasing 70 new forklifts.
Mr Savage said he hoped to attract further investment from the fund as the business expands.”
“Over the next three years we plan to increase our units rented to 1,000,” he said.
“Currently the rental fleet is approx.320 units and I believe if our growth continues as it has in recent years, then this is a very achievable target.”
Neil McCabe, senior investment manager at WhiteRock Capital Partners said: “The streamlining of CMHL’s business model has allowed for a more efficient and dynamic company to flourish, putting them at the forefront of forklift & warehouse equipment rental.
“Jonathan and his team have built a strong network, working with some of Ireland’s leading brands. Providing them with financial support for the next stage of their growth was an easy decision.”
WhiteRock Capital Partners LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the FCA, was established in 2012 to manage the Fund and is owned by a consortium of three partners – WhiteRock Finance Limited, NEL Fund Managers and Clarendon Fund Managers.
Companies seeking funding from the Growth Loan Fund must be based in Northern Ireland, demonstrating growth and generally be in the manufacturing, engineering or tradable services sectors. Loans will be typically unsecured and personal guarantees will not be sought.
The loans provided are expected to be complementary to existing sources of finance, including banks, trade finance sources and equity investors. Loans are provided on a fully commercial basis, with monthly loan repayments required over typically a five-year term.