Knill James, a member of The Corporate Finance Network based in Lewes, East Sussex, has advised the owners of a farm raise funding via a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL). 

The Knill James corporate finance team was asked for assistance when the farming client who had a turbulent year need to raise funds to upgrade its machinery to expand capacity.

The farm breeds game birds in the South East for use in local shoots. The shooting industry was hard adversely impacted last year, as the 2020 winter season was essentially cancelled, with large group shoots not permitted. Despite this, many estates found that they were still lacking in young birds during 2020 to repopulate their stock from the 2019 winter season, as chicks are frequently bought from Europe, and the Covid-19 travel restrictions, combined with difficulties from the Brexit fallout, made importing birds harder.

As a breeder, they found themselves with surplus day old pheasants and reduced sales in all poultry, and so sold them on to local farms which they would not normally do, as there are not usually spare chicks. This diversification from typical trading helped the business stay afloat last year and also benefitted them as their impressive breed stock has gained them, new local clients

Catherine Lambeth, Corporate Finance Executive at Knill James led the deal by arranging a fundraise of £200,000 using the Capitalise platform. The CBILS scheme was perfect for this business as the owners didn’t have to give personal guarantees and were able to access the funds to get their business bank up and running and support the diversification.

They also had to assess the agriculture eligibility requirements to ensure that any BIP payment received did not exceed the annual government subsidy entitlements for agriculture companies.

The deal completed in 2021. The business now has the funds to invest in new machinery and more importantly to build a larger hatchery for an extra 250,000 pheasant chicks this year.

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