Below are a few real life transactions that we have completed. We hope that you will agree these transactions and the financing solutions we provided demonstrate not only our ability to think outside the box but also our ability to convince our lenders to consider transactions they would otherwise not consider simply by applying our analytical skills and creating reasonable alternatives to customary vanilla financing solutions.
Oil & Gas Well Operator
Our customer was founded in 1990 and their principal business was the establishment and operation of small oil and gas wells on private land mostly in Wyoming, Colorado and Oklahoma. Each new well require operating capital and equipment financing. The operating capital was historically provided by a mature network of individual and institutional investors and the equipment financing was provided by a commercial bank in New York.
The bank providing the equipment financing reached its internal lending limit and abruptly advised the customer that they would not provide any additional funds. The customer approached a number of other commercial banks, lenders and brokers but none could provide the necessary financing due to the high volatility of the oil and gas industry and because the equipment being finance was mostly steel casing that was placed thousands of feet underground. Without adequate equipment financing the customer’s ability to continue growing simply ended.
Charter Capital researched the collateral and found solid evidence that there was an active secondary market for used steel casing and that the casing was easily removed from the ground. In addition we reviewed several years of the customer’s internally prepared financial statements as well as their Federal tax returns. We prepared an analysis that while a bit unconventional, detailed a true cash flow that would support strong cash flow despite the volatility of the industry. We then prepared a detailed presentation describing the financing opportunity as well as the economic justification required to mitigate the risks.
In the five years we have been working with this customer we have completed 35 loans totaling over $3.5 million. These loans have been placed through ten separate commercial lenders and even though the price of oil has plummeted the customer has managed to service all debt within the terms granted.
Manufacturer Of Brass Fittings
Our customer was a manufacturer of brass fittings for engines and motors that were used in the marine environment. We had known the customer for about five years and over than time we had completed 7 traditional equipment loans for a total of about $900,000. We never saw their financial statements but their credit was strong and their payment record on the loans we provided was excellent.
The owner of our customer’s major competitor was in the middle of a nasty divorce and decided to sell his company assets to raise cash. Our customer was offered the competitor’s raw inventory which was worth over $300,000. The purchase price was $100,000 and had to be paid in four days or it would be sold to others. Our customer approached their bank who indicated they would likely approve the loan but it would take almost two weeks to formally approve and another three or four days to document.
We quickly updated our credit file and presented the opportunity to a company we didn’t do much business with but whose principals we’ve known for 20 years. We explained the situation and the need for a fast approval and a fast funding. The loan was approved in two hours and the documents were prepared and emailed for signature before the day was done. The lender also agreed that if the customer would email copies of the signed documents they would fund the loan before they received the actual signed agreements.
Everything worked smoothly and the loan actually funded one day early. The customer got his inventory and made a very tidy profit of just over $200,000. The only downside was that the loan was very expensive. The rate was 20% and the loan had to be repaid in twelve monthly installments. When it was all done our customer paid $11,000 in interest (which was a valid deduction on his tax return) for a $200,000 profit.
Our customer was the owner/operator of six Subway franchises in Oklahoma. They requested that we provide them with $400,000 so they could purchase 3 additional established Subway locations that were in close proximity to their existing stores. Apparently the owner had been ill for the past 18 months and was getting worse.
Although our customer’s current operation was profitable and had a positive cash flow the three stores they wanted to acquire had been neglected due to the owner’s illness and all were operating at a loss. The purchase price reflected the condition of the business but the cash flow simply could not justify a new $400,000 loan. The customer spoke to their bank but their request was rejected due to the cash flow issue.
We reviewed several years of operating statements for both the existing business and the business they wanted to acquire. As a result of our analysis we calculated how much debt service the two business could afford as a combined operation and came up with a comprehensive plan that would support the acquisition. Once the customer agreed we approached three of our lenders and asked each of them to each provide $285,000 on seven year terms. The total, $850,000, would allow our customer to refinance all the debt on their existing business and pay the purchase price for the three locations they wanted to buy. Refinancing the old debt and extending the repayment terms to 84 months solved the cash flow issue because it significantly reduced their monthly debt service.
The result was they grew their business to 9 locations and because the monthly payments were lower than before they were able to take more income personally. They were thrilled and as they improved the new locations their financial condition improved to such an extent we were able to approve them for $200,000 about 18 months later which they used to upgrade all of their locations.
The best part was that a year or so after the last loan was made the company’s financial condition became so strong they qualified for an SBA loan to refinance all the debt at a very attractive rate. Ultimately we lost a customer but felt great we could play a role in their success.
Wireless Software Developer
This company was founded in 1999 in Arizona. The company is in the technology business and has developed and patented a variety of software products in the secure mobile communications and wireless payment processing industries. They raised several million dollars in venture capital but still required traditional financing for periodic equipment and software needs.
The problem was that when they first approached Charter Capital they had not yet become profitable and their bank and other traditional commercial lenders simply could not lend them any money until they became profitable and had positive cash flow.
We analyzed their credit and ignored their financial statements because we realized the company was in a transition from research to growth and we believed their statements did not accurately reflect the real worth of the business. We worked with a number of our lenders that were willing to listen to our perspective and ultimately several of them agreed to extend this company credit in small amounts.
We began working with this company in 2005 and through 2012 we completed 29 separate transactions for a total equipment cost financed of $1.8 million. All transactions were done thought our APPLICATION ONLY program. Individual transactions ranged from $11k to $130k. We continue to work with this customer today.
Our customer was a medical testing laboratory. The focus of the operation was research and development of treatment for several types of rheumatic diseases. The founder, a practicing M.D., started the business in 1988 with a significant investment from a private investor group. Once the investment was made the founder owned 19% of the business and the investors owned 81%.
In 2012 the company approached Charter Capital to finance the acquisition of about $250,000 in new testing equipment. This equipment would allow the company to expand their operations into a new and burgeoning segment of rheumatologic research. Although the founder agreed to personally guaranty any loans and the financial condition of the company was strong the company’s bank and several other commercial lenders had previously declined the request. They were concerned because the majority owners (investors) would not guaranty the loan and most lenders were concerned that the company was entering a new business segment.
We carefully analyzed the financial statements of the business and the guarantor and felt there was an abundance of capability to manage the debt even if their venture into a new industry segment failed. As it turned out we had funded similar transactions with several of our lenders over the past few years and they were more than willing to consider the request. Unfortunately none of these lenders could approve the entire amount due to internal restrictions but we provided the customer with three separate approvals that accommodated their entire request.
In the end the customer was pleased that we used our ingenuity and our funding contacts to provide them with the funds they needed and we were pleased that we could provide funding to a company that was seeking to develop a treatment that would positively impact the lives of so many.
This company was established in Maryland in 1999. They provide their clients with wireless 2-way communications devices on a rental basis. Some are event related and very short terms while others are seasonal and for much longer terms. The company’s clients include sports stadiums, professional sports teams, ski resorts, concert promoters and others that have a need for real time communication with specific groups of people.
From its formation in 1999 the business grew modestly because the owners (husband and wife), who were both debt adverse, had initially invested all of their savings and had reinvested all profits less living expenses. They had decided not to take on any debt and while this decision served them well initially it severely inhibited their ability to grow. When they reevaluated their situation they realized the only way to grow was to take on some debt but they quickly discovered that due to aggressive depreciation and the absence of comparable credit their balance sheet was simply not as strong as most lenders required and qualifying for equipment loans was quite a bit harder than they expected.
The company came to us in 2003 and explained their dilemma. We reviewed their credit, their history and their financial condition. We quickly realized they had approached the wrong lenders for the type of financing they needed. We identified four lenders in our network that would likely approve their credit and presented each lender with a written description of the business and the opportunity. All four invited us to make a formal submission.
From 2003 through 2014 we completed 27 separate equipment leases and loans for this company which allowed them to acquire over $1.0 million in new equipment. As a result of the financing we provided the business was able to grow at a controlled rate and the company ended up with a significant improvement in their cash flow. Today the business is self-funding again with the excess cash flow and although we able to give them help when they needed it, we ultimately lost a customer.