Perth-based DownUnder GeoSolutions, a home-grown geosciences company, is making its mark as a provider of exploration and production services to the international oil and gas industry.
The company, which has been established in Australia for over ten years, services a blue-chip client list and provides geophysical and geological services that enable oil and gas companies to identify and analyse drilling sites.
Operating in a niche market and offering proprietary technology, DownUnder GeoSolutions has already established offices overseas in London, Houston, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta.
As the most important markets for the oil and gas sector, and with a relatively favourable economic environment for overseas investment at the moment, the company is looking to build on its operations in these markets.
With demand for its services in these key markets growing, DownUnder GeoSolutions decided to increase its investment overseas, including the purchase of super computing hardware and expansion of the computer rooms and facilities in its overseas offices.
At the same time, the company secured a significant three-year contract to install computer hardware and software on six seismic research vessels operated by global geophysical company, Polarcus.
These business opportunities posed a significant financial challenge for the company, given the capital-intensive nature of the expansion of its overseas operations and fulfilling the Polarcus contract.
DownUnder GeoSolutions’ bank, NAB, was able to provide the funding to support the company fulfil the deal and its planned expansion. However, NAB required a guarantee on its loan, given the size of the debt facilities.
Efic, a specialist financier which helps Australian companies grow overseas, was able to provide NAB with a US$8.3m export finance guarantee so it could provide DownUnder GeoSolutions with the debt the company needed.
Leela Hanson, Efic State Director for SMEs, WA, explained that it can be a challenge for small and medium sized businesses to secure the finance they need to realise opportunities overseas.
“DownUnder GeoSolutions is a great example of a home-grown Australian company doing impressive things both here and overseas.
“However, even for the most successful businesses investing offshore, access to finance can be a hurdle which can hold Australian companies back from fulfilling opportunities in international markets.
“We are pleased to have been able to work with NAB to find a tailored solution for DownUnder GeoSolutions, freeing them up to expand their footprint overseas and take their innovative products and services out to even more companies in the oil and gas sector worldwide.