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Dunedin-backed WFEL secures financing to fund growth

Stockport-based WFEL, a provider of tactical military bridging systems and a specialist defence manufacturer, has secured an increase in its banking facilities from GBP20m to GBP30m.

As part of the refinancing WFEL, backed by mid-market private equity house Dunedin in a GBP48m buyout in 2006, has replaced Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander with Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets acquisition finance and has retained Barclays in its banking syndicate.

Currently WFEL is expanding its operations to accommodate a recently awarded five year contract to repair and refurbish US deployed mobile military bridges. It has also extended its offering to include training and revision packages and inventory management to new and existing customers across the world.

Dougal Bennett, the director of Dunedin on the board of WFEL says: “According to the CBI’s latest figures UK manufacturers continue to experience testing times, WFEL however is thriving.

“WFEL was recognised in September at the British Venture Capital Association’s CEO Awards for its international impact as a result of a number of major international contract wins, including a GBP18m agreement to supply eight Dry Support Bridges to the US Department of Defence. Other wins include contracts from the UK Ministry of Defence and the Turkish Government. WFEL is on track to achieve close to GBP40m of sales to December 2009 up from GBP29.6m in 2008.”

Yasmin Nabi, associate director at Barclays Strategic Debt Finance, Scotland, adds: “We remain very committed to supporting businesses like WFEL, a strong and robust UK model with a leading global position.”

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