Home|News|Fibus is Europe’s leading factoring specialist, helping SMEs and ISEs to finance their growth

Fibus is Europe’s leading factoring specialist, helping SMEs and ISEs to finance their growth

Did you know? Factoring is the main source of short-term financing for businesses in France and is equivalent to 17.6% of GDP. Fibus (formerly Chateaudun Crédit) is Europe’s leading factoring brokerage and helps businesses insure and finance their accounts receivable. What sets it apart? A unique offering spanning factoring, credit insurance and digital solutions. Here we interview Gaëtan du Halgouët, joint Managing Director of Fibus.

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How would you describe Fibus to us in just a few words?

G.d-H: Fibus was founded in 2006. We started off by specialising in factoring but rapidly expanded into credit insurance. In 2018 we also began offering software solutions enabling businesses to coordinate and optimise their contracts. Our offering is centred around the following three services: Fibus Factoring, our factoring consultancy business; Fibus Trade, our credit insurance brokering service, providing protection against payment default risk; and Fibus Digital, consisting of plug-and-play software solutions enabling our clients to coordinate their programmes on a day-to-day basis. We are the only consultancy and brokerage firm to offer the full spectrum of services required for a factoring and credit insurance project to succeed.

What types of clients do you have?

G.d-H: Our client base is made up of small and mid-sized companies. They often face the same kinds of issues as they are all fast-growing businesses, whether through organic or external growth. In both cases, they need to finance significant working capital requirements. We also work for companies in “special situations”. For example, if a group’s subsidiary is taken over by an investment fund (through a spin-off), it must become financially autonomous and negotiate its own liquidity facilities. We also get involved in situations of cash strain, be they temporary or structural. In each of these cases, factoring is the simplest, speediest and most sizeable form of funding that can be arranged.

What exactly are its strong points?

G.d-H: Factoring offers liquidity lines in a simple and speedy manner and on a large scale; moreover, it does not depend only on a company’s financial results or balance sheet. If a company’s business activity expands rapidly during the course of the year, its factoring partners may increase their liquidity lines without waiting for the next balance sheet, unlike conventional bank facilities which require a recent balance sheet or statement of accounts. Factoring is based on a company’s accounts receivable and can therefore adapt naturally to its size and activity; this guarantees flexibility and agility. And to debunk a common misconception, it is priced very competitively. This is one of the reasons why the factoring industry is expanding so rapidly!

Why call on the services offered by Fibus?

G.d-H: Fibus provides its clients with a guarantee that their factoring projects will be perfectly managed from A to Z: we begin by evaluating their potential liquidity lines so as to assist them in safeguarding their cash needs. We help CFOs understand the market and provide them with training in best practices. Besides negotiating the best solution for them, we also secure the choices they make as we have hundreds of programmes operating at all the factoring companies. This means we have built up a vast amount of experience from which our clients are able to benefit. Our clients account for approximately 10% of the French market, with 41 billion euros of receivables transferred in 2022.

How do you see your market going forward?

G.d-H: Although factoring is a fast-growing industry across the world, it is only just beginning to turn into an international market. Fibus already generates 50% of its business outside France by supporting a large number of global mid-sized companies. We hope to consolidate our positions in our core market while stepping up our expansion across Europe’s main countries. Fibus also has major ambitions on the digital front. Having recently launched ARI Trade, its new factoring software solution incorporating credit insurance, it is now in the process of developing an SaaS version, as well as predictive modules.

Given today’s economic climate, are businesses expressing a greater need to secure their activities and to seek help in this area?

G.d-H: “Businesses do indeed need to secure their margins in order to avoid payment defaults. Economic cycles have become shorter and more abrupt, which means that businesses require services and tools that will enable them to prepare for the future. Factoring and credit insurance fulfil this need. In addition, factoring is the least costly and most stable short-term financing solution available to companies today. When the PGE (French government-guaranteed loan) scheme was set up, companies were able to borrow up to 25% of their full-year revenue base with few or no conditions attached. Companies now need to repay these loans and such huge repayments are going to burn up much of their cash-flows. Setting up a factoring programme will help them repay some or all of these loans. A company’s accounts receivable are equal to between 15% and 20% of its full-year revenues”.

How does factoring help international mid-sized companies shore up their growth, in your view?

G.d-H: “Of the 5,500 mid-sized companies operating in France, between 2,000 and 2,500 have opted for factoring as a means of financing their expansion, particularly outside of France. They were quick to understand that this financing solution is more accessible and more flexible than conventional bank facilities (such as overdrafts, Dailly assignments, discounted bills, etc.), which apply more restrictive eligibility criteria because they are based on a company’s equity and profitability. Factoring, on the other hand, is based on a company’s accounts receivable and is therefore the best means of supporting its development, especially its international expansion”.

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