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Grant Thornton arranges alternative finance

Scots importer in £5m deal with Bibby

A Scottish clothes importer is aiming to double turnover over the next three years after agreeing a £5 million financing deal with Bibby Financial Services.

R & G International Trading, operating from Edinburgh and Hong Kong, says the trade, stock and invoice discounting finance facility will enable it to expand and improve its product range.

It followed a strategic review of the business carried out by accountancy and advisory firm Grant Thornton.

R&G  imports men’s, women’s and children’s clothing from Hong Kong and supplies to leading UK retailers including George at Asda.

The business was set up in 2001 by Carole Tong and her business partners in Hong Kong. They spotted a gap in the market to make products in the Far East, especially in China, and supply retailers in the UK. It allows R&G to eliminate agent’s commission and offer a more competitively priced product. The business employs ten staff in Edinburgh and 18 in Hong Kong.

The new finance package is the largest deal completed in Scotland by Bibby Financial Services.

Corporate manager at Bibby in Scotland, Euan Bell, said: “Many UK SMEs still aren’t aware of the funding options available to them. We would urge businesses to seek advice and consultancy from their advisors and accountants when considering funding alternatives. This way they will have a greater understanding of the different forms of finance and will be in a position to make an informed decision about which would suit their business best.”

John Montague, director at Grant Thornton, said: “We have worked with R&G for a number of years and therefore worked closely with Carole and her team when they sought to review their strategy with a view of maximising their long-term goals. We worked closely with our tax colleagues and helped R&G refine its strategy, improve working capital management and deliver a more tax efficient group structure.”

R&G had a previous facility with a bank but switched to alternative lender Bibby for funding, as it could offer the flexibility to meet the business’s needs.

Ms Tong said Grant Thornton helped secure the new bespoke funding solution from Bibby Financial Services.

“With this additional funding in place and our new working relationship with Bibby we can really concentrate on expanding our product range and enhancing the design and quality of the product.”

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