The deal, an extension of an existing and long-term business relationship, consists of a £44m invoice discounting facility, a £10m revolving credit facility and £1m overdraft, all of which will run until October 2015.
The extra capacity comes at a time of strong market growth for NWF: the firm reported a 7% rise in profits before tax to £7.6m for the financial year 2011, off the back of a 22% rise in revenue to £464m. The firm, headquartered near Nantwich, now employs 980 staff across its three divisions (Feeds, Food and Fuels).
NWF's Food division, which provides specialist warehousing and consolidated distribution of ambient grocery products to UK supermarkets, has the lion's share of staff with 590 employees. It now operates 120 trucks, 275 trailers and almost one million square feet of warehousing space concentrated in the North West. NWF's Feeds division, the number two producer in the UK ruminant market, sold 462,000 tonnes of feed last year.
In terms of acquisitions, it is the Fuels division which has seen the most recent activity. At the start of the year NWF acquired Warwickshire-based Evesons Fuels, an 80m-litre depot-based fuel distribution business, and in September it bought Swan Petroleum, a 42m-litre depot-based fuel distribution business operating in the North West of England. The later has increased NWF Fuels division's volume by 10%, enhanced its current penetration across the North West and North Wales, and means that NWF now delivers over 470m litres of fuel annually to over 38,000 customers from 20 sites across the UK.
Royal Bank of Scotland's Manchester-based team has worked with NWF for 80 years and has supported the group throughout its growth and development.
Richard Whiting, NWF's chief executive, said: "NWF has continued to deliver on its development plans with the Fuel division making significant acquisitions, despite the wider pressures in the UK economy. We believe there remain many opportunities to expand the Group from the strong platform established over the last three years... RBS really understands our business and the team in Manchester has been integral to our success and development. I'm delighted that this relationship is set to continue over the coming years."
Paul Thomas, relationship director, RBS CIB, said: "It has been great to work with NWF's management and help the firm develop quickly and effectively into a leading competitor in all three of its divisions. The new finance facility will allow the firm to seek out new acquisitions as well as effective organic growth, and we were happy to put the right facilities in place to allow them to do this. RBS looks forward to working with the firm in the future."