Cheshire SME celebrates silver growth fund

Posted on 19 Apr 2011 by The Manufacturer

Cheshire based monochrome film and photo chemistry products manufacturer HARMAN Technology will branch out into the antimicrobial and medical industry after securing a £4.95m asset-based refinancing deal.

The 132 year old company, which trades under the name Ilford Photo, employs around 260 people at its manufacturing base in Kutsford and has an annual turnover of £23m.

With the rise of digital imaging, demand for HARMAN’s core monochrome analog film products have waned in recent years though its specialism in this area means the company will continue to serve the market.

In addition, HARMAN has secured this finance deal from Venture Structured Finance to enter new markets which can utilise the expertise it has built in silver chemistry. These include plasters, sportswear and medical diagnostics.

Howard Hopwood, Chairman at HARMAN Technology, says: “While our core business centres around photographic products, our expertise has developed over the last century into a robust proposition for other markets where silver has commercial applications.

“We wanted a specialist in Asset Based Lending and chose Venture because they took the time to understand our business and created a solution which allows us to leverage against our assets, enabling us to invest in our existing offer as well as expand into this exciting new product stream.”

The new ventures will see HARMAN further increase its international business. The company already exports 75 per cent of its wares.