BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital team has provided C$5 million of financing to Benchmark Instrumentation & Analytical Services. The capital will be used to grow its Oxygen Solutions unit. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Benchmark is a maker of electronic instruments.
EDMONTON, February 6, 2020—Benchmark Instrumentation & Analytical Services of Edmonton, Alberta recently secured 5 million dollars in non-dilutive financing from BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital team. The funds will first be used by Benchmark to support the growth of its Oxygen Solutions division, which manufactures equipment for the separation of oxygen from air. This equipment is currently being used primarily to support the worldwide aquaculture industry. Additional key applications include waste water clarification, mining, ozone generation and medical oxygen. Management expects Oxygen Solutions to be a key driver of Benchmark’s growth over the coming years as the aquaculture market expands to meet increasing worldwide demand for healthy sources of protein to feed the world’s growing population.
The new funds are notably serving to increase Oxygen Solutions’ manufacturing capacity and to build its inventory. BDC Capital’s financing combines a $3.5 million straight line amortizing cash flow loan and a $1.5 million patient mezzanine facility into a single, easily manageable unitranche loan. This personalized hybrid structure was judged to be the best way to meet both the company’s needs and its repayment capacity. A portion of the funds will also be used as working capital to fund the growth of Turner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments, another of the company’s business units. It and Oxygen Solutions were established as divisions of Benchmark in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
“We are excited and very much appreciate the financial support extended to Benchmark by BDC Capital,” says Steven McDougall, President, Benchmark Instrumentation & Analytical Services. “It has led to new jobs for university engineering students and a projected doubling of our manufacturing workforce in the next couple of years. Benchmark has become a worldwide leader and supplier to many firms in the aquaculture industry, with sales to companies in the US, Chile, Australia, Israel, Vietnam and Columbia.”
This transaction was conducted by David Wan, Director, Growth & Transition Capital at BDC Capital’s Edmonton office. “Benchmark’s management has shown great talent by augmenting its existing business in recent years with new divisions that diversify its industry and geographic reach,” remarks Wan. “We are confident of its ability to execute on its growth plans for Oxygen Solutions and Turner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments and to make the most of the flexible capital we are providing.”
About Benchmark Instrumentation & Analytical Services
Benchmark was incorporated in 1996 as a manufacturers representative. In 2000 it was purchased by Grant Shannon, P.Eng and Tod Martens, C.E.T. The company has evolved from sales to distribution to engineering and system integration, to product design and development and finally manufacturing, with distribution in 35 countries worldwide. Its diversification has set the track for future growth. Steven McDougall, M.Sc. P.Eng. joined the company in 2008, and succeeded Grant Shannon as President & CEO in 2016. Prior to joining Benchmark, Steven was responsible for a research portfolio at Syncrude Research. Grant Shannon remains with the company as Chairman and Executive Director. Tod Martens remains with the company as an Executive Director responsible for Turner’s operations.
About BDC Capital
BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC—Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions. Visit bdc.ca/capital.