Banbury-based First Line secures £20m to drive exports

An aerial view of First Line's warehouse in Banbury.
An aerial view of First Line's warehouse in Banbury.

A leading supplier of vehicle components based in Banbury is looking to grow its exports following a £20 million funding deal.

First Line, which operates a 170,000 sq ft warehouse in Banbury, has secured the funds from Santander Corporate and Commercial.

The 35-year-old company will use the new funding to expand its exports and capitalise on growth opportunities in overseas markets.

Keith Schofield, finance director for First Line, said: “Growth will be achieved via a number of strategies including new products and focusing on new segments such as classic cars.

“We are delighted with the ongoing success of the business and the opportunities presented by overseas markets are truly exciting.”

The funding will be used in a number of ways including for asset finance, foreign exchange and invoice finance

Mr Schofield added: “Santander has quickly become a trusted partner, providing the financial support and facilities needed for us to take the company to the next level.”

The business expects 30 per cent of its annual turnover this year to come from export sales, which have seen robust year-on-year growth over the past six years.

Steve Bateman, relationship director at Santander, said: “First Line is looking to grow its market share globally over the next few years and the facilities offered by Santander will be key for them to achieve these growth ambitions.

“We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic, growth focused UK business.”

First Line employs 200 people globally and supplies the vehicle aftermarket though three brands. These are: First Line, the 100-year-old Borg & Beck and Key Parts.

Its base in Banbury is supported by a 15,000 sq ft distribution centre in Belfast and subsidiary operations in Spain, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

At the moment, the company supplies warehouse distributors and wholesalers in more than 70 countries.

Across its three brands, First Line offers a range of over 37,000 parts for all makes of vehicle.