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California Company's First International Deal Due to Ex-Im Bank Guarantee
Mon, 2012-02-06 14:45

Ceilings Plus in Los Angeles, California is a manufacturer and installer of high quality aluminum and wood ceiling and wall panels. The firm has installed their specialty ceiling work at such locations as the Newseum in Washington, D.C.; the Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock, AR; the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood, CA; and the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

The firm first came to the attention of Ex-Im Bank in 2007 via Bank of the West regarding a pre-export working capital need of Ceilings Plus for their newly-won $18 Million contract for the expansion project of the Doha International Airport in Qatar. While successful in the United States, this was the company's first international deal and it required a $2.2 million performance bond and collateral.

Ex-Im Bank's standby letter of credit allowed Ceilings Plus to access funds that would have otherwise been tied up in the performance bond. The company was subsequently awarded an $11 million contract for Phase II of the project, for which the guarantee was used again for issuance of a performance bond. The resulting new business of two international contracts totaling $29 million is significant for this small business with annual revenues in the $15 million range. This working capital lender loan guarantee has been instrumental in Ceilings Plus' success and they are now seeking other large contracts in the Middle East. Due to their sales growth, Ceilings Plus has increased its work force from 86 in April, 2008, to 150 in April, 2011.

"Ex-Im Bank has engaged in steady collaboration with our company and our local bank to provide the financial support we needed. This helped give us the confidence to venture into the international world. Ceilings Plus sales have more than doubled and have increased our employment with the help of Ex-Im," said President Nancy Mercolino.