£32m refinance deal for NFT

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Chilled logistics specialist NFT has completed a five-year refinancing deal worth £31.6m with HSBC.

The five year package, agreed with HSBC’s Midlands Corporate Banking team, replaces existing banking arrangements and sees HSBC become the company’s sole banking partner.

HSBC has provided total facilities of £31.6m, which includes £21.6m of term and property loans and £10m of working capital facilities.

NFT became an independent company in 2006 following a £51m buyout from Northern Foods. The buyout team was led by managing director David Frankish and backed by Phoenix Equity Partners.

The refinancing has enabled the NFT Group to better align its banking facilities with the future growth strategy of the business and its investors.

The Alfreton-based operator reported an eight per cent rise in sales £152.4m for its 2012 financial year while after tax profit rose 55 per cent to £2m.

Financial director Steve Dennison said: “The banking environment is still very challenging and the deal is a demonstration of the excellent and robust financial performance of the group over the last few years.

“It is testament to the strength of the NFT business that HSBC has chosen to partner with NFT in the next stage of our growth story. The refinancing provides us with the certainty of financial resources to enable further investment and growth at NFT. This in turn will ensure we can continue to provide unrivalled supply chain solutions to all our customers.”

The company now delivers more than 120,000 pallets of chilled food each week, travelling to almost every major UK retailer every day. It has more than 1,700 employees, and runs more than 370 articulated vehicles across the business.

HSBC Midlands head of corporate Mark Harris said: “NFT has experienced strong growth in recent years and has ambitious expansion plans for the future. The company was looking for a banking partner that was able to match and support those plans and HSBC fitted the bill.”

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