The cross-border trade and business development body Intertrade Ireland hosted a morning session in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge on February 12th. Presentations focused on the funding landscape in Ireland, Patrick Black from our Food & AgriBusiness team was there. Speakers and panelists ranged from a number of different funding backgrounds both traditional and non-traditional.
To set the scene we got an overview of the funding landscape in Ireland, which at present has a positive outlook. The first thing we examined was the importance of aligning the funding type with the stage in your company’s life cycle. For example, debt funding would only be a realistic option at the early growth stage or beyond whereas grant funding can be considered from start-up right up until sustained growth.
There were two panel discussions over the course of the morning with varied speakers. Permanent TSB, SBCI and GRID Finance and Capital Finance had representatives on the first panel. Derek Butler from GRID Finance highlighted that the key to availing of their services such as Cash Advance and Term loans is a solid cashflow, if they see this, they will be willing to do business.
Fergus Brady focused more so on PTSB’s traditional offering and the fact they are keen to sit down with customers and hear the story of how their business is growing and where it’s going. Not traditionally known for business banking but they are keen to offer a service to SME’s all over the country.
Panel two had speakers from 3 alternative funding companies, Eoin Christian from GRENKE Invoice Finance, John O’Sullivan from Beechbrook Capital and Mark Flood, Director of Renatus Capital.
GRENKE’s offering is very much global, they have operations in 33 countries so if you’re entering a foreign market, chances are, they’ll be able to provide debtors reports for operators in local markets. As companies to continue to diversify their markets in light of Brexit this could be an extremely beneficial tool when dealing with new customers in a new market.
Mark Flood from Renatus Capital touched on the wide range of services he and his team have to offer those seeking investment and those looking to profit through investment. A key differentiator between Renatus and some of the other private equity firms is that they are willing to get hands-on in the business maximising the benefits and skill set of the management team that Renatus have in place.
Succession planning was a pain point for those we surveyed in our Food & AgriBusiness Report last year. Renatus can assist heavily in changing the path of the business if there is no clear succession plan in place. This means they can orchestrate management buyouts or work with strategic investors to take over your business while the original owner retains a set share. Mark used their deal with Rennicks as a prime example.
The morning was brought to a close by Gary Stokes outlining the benefits of the Funding for Growth Advisory Clients that Intertrade Ireland run to help SME clients realise their potential.