Founded in 1989 by Wilson Barrett, warehouse and storage firm Panther Warehousing plc has six sites across the UK from which it makes 3,000 deliveries on a daily basis.
It offers a bespoke two man white glove next day delivery service; delivering and building items such as beds and wardrobes, and taking the old items away when they leave.
The company employs over 200 people and this can double at peak periods.
Funding substantial assets
Wilson first approached Close Brothers Asset Finance in 2001 when the opportunity arose to deliver for Primark. He needed to invest in 26 18-tonne trucks to facilitate the contract, at a total cost of £950,000.
After looking at the business case and applying his knowledge of the industry, John Fawcett, now Managing Director of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, structured a deal for Wilson that enabled him to purchase the trucks. John made a decision to fund the company within a couple of days, meaning they were able to move forward quickly with their purchasing plans.
Over the past 18 years, Close Brothers have funded all fleet renewals for Panther Warehousing. The latest deal, completed in November 2014, allowed them to purchase trolleys worth £150,000 to move big-ticket items in their warehouse, rather than using forklifts. Panther Warehousing put down a deposit on the trolleys and Close Brothers structured a flexible hire purchase deal to cover the balance.
Exceptional customer service
Wilson Barrett said: “Close Brothers took a chance on me back in 2001, allowing me to buy those trucks instead of hiring them at an extortionate cost - I don’t believe I could have won the Primark contract without their support.
“Since then, they’ve funded many assets for me and the service I get each time is excellent. John Fawcett and Penny Dee, my local sales manager, are always available, they listen to what my business needs and they treat me fairly. They make quick decisions and provide the money promptly, which is really important for us given the fast-paced nature of the business.
“I’d recommend Close Brothers to anybody, and have done so often. These are people that will really go the extra mile if they see your potential. Ultimately, Close Brothers know logistics and that is my business. That understanding has been very valuable for me,” he added.