Tungsten ready to shake up supply chain financing

Tungsten ready to shake up supply chain financing

Trading in invoice financing outfit Tungsten made a steady start on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange Wednesday, with the company raising £160 million from an oversubscribed placing

Shares in Tungsten were trading at 230 pence within an hour of the float, giving the firm a market capitalisation of £230 million.

The group was founded last year by City financier Edmund Truell to acquire and/or build a presence in undervalued segments of the financial market where better management and improved use of technology could deliver enhanced returns

Proceeds from the placing will be used to fund a £99 million buyout of e-invoicing network OB10 (comprising £73 million in cash and the rest in shares) and a £58-£60 million take-over of the UK arm of First International Bank of Israel.

Part of the package of transactions also includes provisions for the acquisition of a five-year rolling license agreement with @UK PLC to deploy its spend analytic software technology to the invoice data crossing OB10's network.

The first application in live production will be a 'Spend Variance' module which will mine corporate data flows across the OB10 network to spot inconsistent pricing in local procurement spending across the supply chain. This is expected to save Tungsten clients up to one percent on their supplier spending budgets, says Luke McKeever (pictured), OB10 chief executive and now an executive director of Tungsten.

"We already work with many of the world's largest multinationals and their suppliers," he says. "By extending our e-invoicing and early payment services, and introducing detailed spend analytics, we plan to broaden our existing client and partner relationships and welcome new organisations to the network."

Speaking to Finextra on Tuesday, McKeever says OB10 will use an additional £15 million in working capital raised in the float to expand its international footprint and hire a team of specialist account managers to work more closely with corporate clients and procurement managers to identify new opportunities for savings in B2B supply chain financing.

OB10 currently hosts 122 large corporate and governmental buyers, servicing 140,000 suppliers, on its global network and expects to expand its presence to 50+ countries over the coming year, says McKeever, as new markets open up to e-invoicing.

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