How great financial partners facilitate expansion

Obtaining financing to purchase and build Canadian-controlled ships that operate in Mexico proved challenging – until I met Kristi Miller with First West Capital. by Michael Lever, President, Nautilus Explorer

Deep dive into growth

We’ve been running dive charters for 24 years in nine different locations, including B.C., Alaska and Baja, our company, Nautilus, made the strategic decision to focus on the two most popular Mexican destinations: diving with great white sharks at Guadalupe Island and diving with giant manta rays, dolphins and humpback whales at Socorro Island. In order to achieve this, we needed to acquire and build an additional vessel, enabling us to double our guest carrying capacity.

Nautilus logo

After looking at several financing options we were introduced to Kristi Miller at First West Capital by our partners, Firepower Capital. I was so impressed with Kristi’s professionalism and knowledge, I decided at that first meeting to advance the deal with First West Capital. Sub-debt as a solution was very practical and helped us work around lending concerns on internationally operated assets.

“Sub-debt as a solution was very practical and helped us work around lending concerns on internationally operated assets.”

Complex financing challenges solved

First West Capital has helped our company convert capital into the best possible returns – and for us that translates into more guests per ship. Kristi and associate director, Sarah Lloyd, invested the time and energy to understand our business and, through the comprehensive due diligence process, highlighted important aspects of our business that we hadn’t considered or questioned before. This was tremendously valuable and appreciated.

“First West Capital has helped our company convert capital into the best possible returns.”

Our future is about an intense focus on our most profitable destinations, and thanks in part to Kristi and Sarah, we realised this goal with the first sailing of our newest vessel, the Belle Amie, in February 2015.