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Posted: 29 Apr, 2020

BREAL Zeta Commercial Finance has structured a USD $10,000,000 export receivables finance facility to support the expansion of Sonan Bunkers (UK) Ltd. This transaction, which has an 18-month facility term, delivers more than double the quantum of Sonan’s previous finance facility.

Established in 2014 to handle in-house shipping fleets together with third-party broking and trading, Sonan Bunkers (UK) Ltd is a bunker physical supplier in the ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) region as well as an active worldwide trader. Since that time the business has grown to 6 offices in London, Rio de Janeiro, Athens, Singapore, Oslo and Rotterdam, with experienced brokers and traders covering the worldwide requirements of its clients. The business, which is experiencing substantial increases in both its turnover and profitability, has a robust business model which has meant consistent trading throughout a period of turbulent oil prices and global disruption caused by Covid-19.


Graham Furse, General Manager, Sonan Bunkers (UK) Ltd, said:

“Right from the start, I had a warm feeling that with BREAL Zeta, we were working with a company that wanted to do the deal, which gave us real certainty. We never once felt like a statistic, unlike with some banks where due diligence can involve a lengthy box ticking exercise only for the deal to drop off a cliff. The team at BREAL Zeta was refreshing to work with and very impressive. They asked all the right questions, listened carefully to the answers and looked to understand our business and our processes.”

He added: “The tanker side of the market is extremely buoyant and we have already won a number of new accounts and have a strong pipeline going forward. This transaction is the step that we needed to enable us to scale to meet our plans and will also serve to enhance our credibility in the market as we take the business to the next level.”

Andy Pickford, director in the debt advisory team at FRP, said:

“Bunkering is naturally a niche subsector and one that operates on fine margins. As such, it’s critical for Sonan Bunkers to have the right backers on board to support the next phase of their growth. Having explored options with a range of lenders, this deal with BREAL Zeta represents an extremely positive outcome for their global team – particularly in the current climate – with the additional firepower likely to help them achieve their ambition of doubling turnover in the not too distant future.”

Ben Milner, Regional Business Development Director, BREAL Zeta said:

“We are absolutely delighted to support Sonan Bunkers with the optimal level of finance to drive its expansion. The platform to accelerate further profitable growth has been established and we look forward to supporting the business to achieve its future plans.”

He continued: “This is an excellent example of how BREAL Zeta is backing large, complex transactions and enabling businesses to secure opportunities for growth and strengthen their positions during times of continuing economic change.”

This has been a great team effort, working closely with Sonan to meet deadlines in a difficult environment. We remain keen to assist with any urgent funding needs across asset based lending, adding cash flow loans as required, with overall lending lines from £2m to £150m, whilst maintaining necessary home-working for our team.”


The client was advised by Andy Pickford at FRP Advisory, who introduced the transaction to BREAL Zeta.

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