DAMEN Magazine #5

A helping hand for financing Damen vessels

Published in category: Markets

Introducing Damen Customer Finance

Damen has been offering customer financing solutions for nearly 40 years. During that time, Damen has helped finance vessels from Colombia to China and from Russia to South Africa for a broad client base, from start-up companies buying their first vessel to large, expanding organisations requiring assistance for multi-vessel contracts.

Damen helps its customers by offering tailor-made solutions for their needs. The Customer Finance department offers a diverse portfolio of services, ranging from sophisticated project finance structures to simple supplier credits. These are available for any type of Damen vessel or for any equipment delivered by Damen companies.

Over the past few years, Damen has seen a sharp rise in the number of requests for financial assistance. In 2014, the Customer Finance Team arranged finance for over 30 projects with a total value of more than half a billion euros, climbing from 350 million in 2013. This was largely due to more restrictive local finance options, combined with attractive financing offered by Damen’s house banks and credit risk insurance companies. Additionally, smaller and startup companies are sometimes finding it harder to attract finance, but the team is also able to support these companies.

Manager Damen Customer Finance, Bastiaan Kooistra, says: “We take the burden from the customer, we make all the arrangements for the financing package – assist in the application phase, handle all the documentation, risk assessments and pre-risk assessments etc. We want to take everything on our shoulders so the customer can have peace of mind.”

Accessible ship financing
Long-term Damen client, Arnulfo Amador Curiel, Group Chief Financial Officer of leading Mexican offshore company, Naviera Integral, says: “I think Customer Finance is a great service from Damen, because it allows customers access to additional finance sources with another vision and risk appetite, very different from those of their own country.”

Damen’s Customer Finance Team is created from dedicated ship financing specialists. “If customers turn to their own banks for funding their new vessel, their house banks may not have ship finance experts. Our people do ship financing day in and day out,”  Bastiaan emphasises.

Dedicated experts
This is backed up by Mr Amador Curiel: “Damen Customer Finance offers excellent finance solutions according to customer needs. It  avoids shipowners having to seek funding in their origin country, with institutions without experience in the industry and therefore when they are disposed to offer credit, any risk that they detect is covered with very high interest rates.

“Damen customers can get access to finance sources from organisations with wide experience in the maritime industry and for this reason, the client obtains very attractive finance offers, which can also support the company when it is developing. Specifically, we can obtain benefits like low interest rates, long-term credit, low fees and guarantees for other credit institutions,” he says.

International partnerships
With decades of financing experience, and with 32 ship and repair yards worldwide, Damen has built strong international partnerships with financial institutions, export credit agencies, private risk Insurance companies,  development banks and organisations like Caterpillar Financial. Damen has an excellent relationship and track record with the Dutch Export Credit Agency (ECA) Atradius Dutch State Business.

Francesco Verschuren, Damen Customer Finance Manager, adds: “We provide the right mix of financing products and guarantees, whilst supporting customers with advice from people who understand the maritime and offshore industry.

“We work very closely with the clients to help optimise their business by providing specific packages tailored to their requirements.”

Personal relationship
Naviera Integral agrees, with Mr Amador Curiel adding that it is important to the company to have a personal relationship with the Customer Finance Team.

“Without doubt the close relationship with Damen’s team is very important for us, because through their advice, assistance and support, it works faster and it is easier to obtain satisfactory results. Let me tell you that we consider the Customer Finance Team as our first choice to access credit, for the supplier or the customer.”

Damen provides several types of financing arrangements including Supplier Credits, Buyer Credits, Project Finance and Leasing options. Additionally, uniquely for a shipbuilding group, Damen has a substantial EUR 75 million Ship Lease Holding fund available for customers.

If you would like any more information about financing options please contact the Manager of Customer Finance Bastiaan Kooistra (bastiaan.kooistra@damen.com). We look forward to helping you.

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