Funds fuel growth: First West Capital helps an Albertan business expand into international markets

Since its establishment over 40 years ago, Sealweld has been a family-owned organization selling valve sealants, grease products, fittings and pumps to the oil and gas pipeline industry.

When Sealweld Corporation recently secured expanded contracts with two major clients, Shell Canada Energy and the Saudi Aramco, Andrea Arient, executive vice president, knew they would need additional working capital in order to meet their clients’ growing needs and demands. While the company had been approached by several potential investors previously, all of them wanted to purchase controlling shares of the company.

Maintaining control while growing the business

Enter First West Capital. As Andrea explains, “Our primary lender at HSBC recommended that we hire a banking consultant to assist us in our search for working capital and it was through him that we became familiar with First West Capital and their sub debt program. We’ve been approached by other interested parties before, but they all wanted to purchase controlling shares and we’re just not ready to relinquish control as we feel like we are just coming into our own.”

Andrea adds, “We’re not willing to sell a portion of the company, so when First West Capital came along, we were thrilled. They were able to provide the capital we needed for growth without asking for shares of our business.” Notably, Sealweld has been growing around 20 per cent year on year, and in addition to using the funds to meet the needs of their major clients, the company plans on using a portion of the funds provided by First West Capital to expand their services department in their Houston location.

“We’re not willing to sell a portion of the company, so when First West Capital came along, we were thrilled. They were able to provide the capital we needed for growth without asking for shares of our business.”

Financing growth into international markets

“Not only were we very impressed with the quality of Sealweld’s products, but also with how their team has managed to export their proprietary and innovative valve maintenance products to over 100 countries around the world,” says Rob Napoli, vice president of First West Capital. “Sealweld has been very effective in building long-term, sustainable relationships with new customers, which created a need for additional working capital in order to accommodate their projected growth into international markets.

Rob adds, “We worked together with Sealweld’s senior financing partner, HSBC, to support their growth potential. Over the years, Sealweld has solidified its position within the valve maintenance industry, with no other competitors able to match their product offering in the market. We are very excited to be a part of their expansion plans.”

The benefits of a strong partnership

According to Andrea, it was the team’s exceptional communication skills, flexibility, client-centered approach and quick understanding of their business model that made First West Capital really stand out. “Our experience with Rob and the entire First West Capital team has been fantastic,” says Andrea. “We really appreciated the team’s easygoing and adaptable nature, their extensive knowledge of our industry and their ability to deliver personalized solutions that were tailored to our needs. In short, First West Capital has enabled us the capital for growth required to be a leader in our international markets.”

“We really appreciated the team’s easygoing and adaptable nature, their extensive knowledge of our industry and their ability to deliver personalized solutions that were tailored to our needs.”

Working with the Sealweld team has also been a rewarding experience for the First West Capital team. As Rob explains, “Sealweld is a great example of a highly successful Canadian family-run business that is committed to producing industry-leading products in the valve maintenance industry. We’re very excited to be their financing partner and be able to assist with their expansion plans into the Middle East and Canadian oil and gas pipeline markets.”