Upstream becomes part of London-based Cubitt Holdings LLC


New partnership will drive aggressive all-Ireland growth strategy

Upstream – Northern Ireland’s only privately owned provider of Working Capital into the SME and Corporate business sectors – has announced that it has become part of London-based speciality finance group, Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC.

As a result of the move, Belfast headquartered Upstream, which marked its tenth anniversary this summer, has become one of five independently run finance companies operating as part of Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC across Uk and Ireland.

Upstream founder, Judith Totten MBE, said having the support of a significant investment partner is a true game-changer for Upstream.

“Throughout our ten years in business Upstream has been known for providing working capital for growth-focused Northern Ireland SMEs and, whilst this will continue to be an integral element of our offering, we are now in a position where we can support much larger corporate deals for businesses who may have existing Bank relationships, but require an added line of funding, which can act as an innovative but ultimately integral part of the client’s overall  funding package.

“This is a major development for Upstream. Thanks to Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC we will now be pursuing an aggressive growth programme throughout the island of Ireland that will also include acquisitions if the right opportunities present themselves.”

Judith Totten stressed that Upstream will retain its corporate DNA, name, and will indeed be expanding its Irish team as part of the deal.

“Our message to our clients and the market is clear: the overall corporate structure of our trading businesses, our branding will remain unchanged, and both our Board and local operating team will continue in their current form. Our operating model will continue as before and there will be no disruption to our systems or clients. We now simply have the freedom and backing to escalate our growth plans across Ireland. The agility, flexibility and empathy our clients have always enjoyed will not change.”

Judith Totten continued: “Upstream has a stable, committed and exceptionally well capitalised funding and equity partner, with a demonstrable appetite to grow and develop a bigger and stronger business across Ireland. We have partners who mirror and endorse our ambitions, and I hope we can help our existing and new clients even more than before.”

Upstream Sales Director, Alan Wardlow said the timing of the new partnership could not have been better.

“The landscape of SME and Corporate finance is changing dramatically, and the impact of Brexit and the pandemic have accelerated these changes. For many businesses it is no longer a case of approaching a bank and seeking a simple overdraft or term debt. Their needs are often much more complex than that and require a multi-layer funding approach if they are to maximise their working capital potential. In particular, Upstream will seek to fund companies’ Supply Chain requirements as well as its traditional Invoice Financing, on a standalone or end-to-end basis thereby supporting the cash flow cycle from start to finish.

“With the post pandemic economic recovery now beginning to take shape and traditional banks adopting a more cautious approach to lending, our new relationship with Cubitt means we can truly fulfil our purpose of enabling ‘Fearless Growth’ amongst companies as a means of driving economic recovery throughout the island.”

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