Success Stories: CME Limited remortgages with Allica to release cash and fund expansion

CME Limited

CME Limited are a Somerset-based manufacturer of automation and packaging machinery. Established in 1983 and now employing around 120 people, the leadership
team were looking for a bank to help them fund their continuing expansion.

“When approaching other lenders, there seemed to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach, whereas Allica was far more flexible and understanding of us as a business and our financial needs.”

Paul Knight, CEO of CME

About CME Limited

CME Limited design and build standard and bespoke packaging and process automation solutions. They serve clients in 130 countries around the globe, in sectors including food & beverage, pharmaceutical, tobacco, and cannabis.

With 120 employees, primarily based in its Combe St Nicholas headquarters, it is a proud Somerset business, committed to giving back to its local community. It believes in continuous innovation, agile work practices, and providing best-in-class customer experience.

The story

Having experienced an average growth rate of 20% in recent years through diversification and entry into new markets, the leadership team were looking to maximise on this momentum by securing finance to complete a management buy-out (MBO) from the family that founded the business in 1983. This extra funding and control will empower the business to further continue its ambitious product development strategy and expansion.

The business decided to explore a remortgage of their premises, to unlock the funds needed to complete the deal. However, the unorthodox nature of the deal meant they struggled to find a bank willing to offer them the amount they needed. A number of corporate financial advisors even said CME were ‘naive’ to think they could secure the funding. But, determined, CME pushed on.


How Allica Bank helped

CME had secured some of the funds with SME Capital, however it wasn’t enough to complete the MBO. With the help of Julian Stevens, Director of Blaise Commercial Finance, CME were connected with Allica Bank, who – in tandem with the other provider – agreed to provide the money for the MBO.

Having struggled to find another lender flexible enough to consider the deal, Julian said, “Allica were very quick to respond and very transparent in the loan-to-value interest cover that they required. From the beginning, they were looking for ways to do the deal and worked very collaboratively with CME, the other lender and myself.”

Paul Knight CEO of CME said “When approaching other lenders, there seemed to be a ‘one size fits all’ approach, whereas Allica was far more flexible and understanding of us as a business and our financial needs. While other advisers told us we were naive for even trying to source this deal – Blaise Commercial Finance and Allica made the effort to recognise our potential.”

What’s next for CME?

Having now completed the MBO, CME have the freedom to pursue their ongoing ambitious expansion. They have plans to continue new product development in the US/ Canadian cannabis markets, enter the food marketplace with several innovative new product ideas and also complete unit number 1 of the ambitious PACE automated clinical pharmacy along with other members of the MMIC (Medical Manufacturing Innovation Centre).

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