Our financial support provided Austin Engineering with the freedom to grow their business and unlock opportunities in the mining sector.
Born out of Brisbane and now established in countries across Asia, North and South America – Austin Engineering has over 50 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing equipment for the mining industry.
They’re known for their innovative mining truck bodies and buckets, and are highly sought after by major mining businesses and projects around the world.
“We design bespoke and innovative solutions for our clients who are all exporters and many are large mining companies,” revealed Sam Cruickshank, Chief Financial Officer of Austin Engineering.
“We’re a critical element of that supply chain - supporting them by enabling them to enhance their productivity returns, for example getting more material into their trucks through provision of a light-weight truck body.”
Over the years, the business went through periods of both growth and decline.
“We were highly leveraged and bought a lot of businesses and expanded our geographic footprint in the mining boom. When the boom finished, we were over-geared for our post-boom earnings, which were impacted by a dramatic reduction in capital purchases throughout the mining industry, and have since then focused on debt reduction and getting the business back into shape,” said Sam.
When they were unable to access financial support from their commercial bank, Export Finance Australia was recommended to them by an existing long-term customer of ours.
The right partner alignment
Austin Engineering first worked with our Project & Structured Finance (PSF) team. This enabled us to first understand its business and determine the financial solutions that best suited its needs.
As the transaction progressed, Austin Engineering was grateful for the support from the different levels of our business: PSF, Transaction Management, Legal, Compliance and our Technical, Social and Environmental Risk assessment team.
“PSF were the first team we spoke to; and then Transaction Management put the legwork in putting the deal together and negotiating the deal,” added Sam.
“They were very knowledgeable in the mining space which was helpful. We had multiple levels of contacts with Export Finance Australia to reach out and discuss matters with.”
We worked closely with Austin Engineering to understand its business needs and finalise the transaction. Our $15 million Export Line of Credit facility to Austin Engineering provided working capital to support its contracts with Australian mining businesses and contractors.
“Our facility with Export Finance Australia supports all the way from receipt of purchase orders to final payments from the customer, truly funding the full working capital cycle.” said Sam.
“It’s so helpful to have a financing facility that aligns well to that, it really frees up capital for investing in the growth of the business which is great.”
Nowadays, Austin Engineering is enjoying the financial flexibility and being able to grow its business. The company offers its own advice for other organisations needing financial support.
“Talk to lots of people and develop the relationships; rather than just talking to the big four banks, look for the right partner who’s aligned to you.
“The thing about Export Finance Australia is that our businesses are quite aligned. We’re both here to support the Australian export market. I’m really looking forward to delivering on that.”