First Line, a UK-based supplier of automotive components to the vehicle aftermarket, has received £20m in funding from Santander UK.
The funding is spread across a range of facilities covering asset finance, foreign exchange and invoice finance products.
Founded in 1983, First Line is a worldwide supplier to the vehicle aftermarket through its namesake brand and the Borg & Beck and Key Parts labels. First Line offers a range of over 37,000 parts for all makes of vehicle. The company also supplies warehouse distributors and wholesalers in over 70 countries, mainly through the century old Borg & Beck brand.
The company’s Oxfordshire base now has 170,000 sq ft of warehouse space, supported by a 15,000 sq ft distribution centre in Belfast and subsidiary operations in Spain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. The company employs over 200 staff globally.
Steve Bateman, relationship director at Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “First Line is looking to grow its market share globally over the next few years and the facilities offered by Santander will be key for them to achieve these growth ambitions.
“We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic, growth focused UK business that will benefit from Santander’s unrivalled expertise in helping SMEs export and trade internationally.”
Keith Schofield, finance director of First Line, said: “We are delighted with the ongoing success of the business and the opportunities presented by overseas markets are truly exciting. Growth will be achieved via a number of strategies including new products and focusing on new segments such as classic cars.
“Santander has quickly become a trusted partner, providing the financial support and facilities needed for us to take the company to the next level.”
In August, Santander Corporate & Commercial provided £1.15m funding for Caterham Cars, the Dartford-based light sports car manufacturer, to support expansion in international markets as well as developing its UK manufacturing base.