EverBank Commercial Finance Inc. has launched a new business unit that specializes in financing equipment purchases and leasing for the flexible packaging and plastics industries.
The move marks the return to the plastics financing sector of Samuel Smith III, the former president of plastics financing firm Wentworth Capital Corp., which was sold to Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Inc.
We believe the market is really in need of a strategic lender who understands the industry, Smith said in a telephone interview.
Small plastics companies are still suffering from the credit crunch that hit manufacturers in 2008-09, he said. Some banks are reluctant to lend to processors that need to buy equipment to take advantage of opportunities in the recovering economy.
The recovery is going to be fueled by a lot of the privately held companies those in the range of $5 million to $50 million in annual revenues, Smith said. They need to have the ability to add new equipment to replace gear that might be a little bit antiquated.
Smith has long been associated with the plastics industry his father Samuel H. Smith Jr. was the former president of Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co.
He co-founded Wentworth Capital in 1991, merged the company with Charter Financial Inc. in 1997, and then sold it to Wells Fargo in 2000. Since then he worked for a time at Orix Vendor Finance, and he did consulting work.
Smith is managing director of the new business unit of EverBank Financial. The unit is based in Hampton, N.H. EverBank is in Parsippany, N.J.
Although the unit is just getting started, Smith said he met with major machinery suppliers at K 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany, to let them know his business plan.
Also involved in the new unit are George Muhoray, who is responsible for vendor program management; Sheila Mahon, operations team leader; and Fred Clough, who directs the risk and credit function.
EverBank Commercial Finance's parent, EverBank Financial Corp. is a privately held thrift holding company in Jacksonville, Fla., with $11.2 billion in assets, $9 billion in deposits and more than 2,200 employees.