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How to Use Asset-Based Lending as a Recapitalization Strategy

Last Modified : Mar 21, 2024

Reviewed by: Bruce Sayer

In the constantly shifting realm of corporate finance, asset-based lending (ABL) is recognized as a multifaceted approach not only for acquiring essential working capital but also for strategic financial activities such as recapitalization. Recapitalization, the process of altering a company’s debt-to-equity ratio, aims to solidify its financial foundation, enhance performance, or gear up for major growth initiatives or acquisitions. This piece delves into how companies can utilize asset-based lending as an effective strategy for recapitalization.

Understanding Asset-Based Lending

Asset-based lending is a form of financing where loans are provided based on the value of a company’s assets, such as accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, and sometimes real estate. Unlike traditional bank loans that focus on credit ratings and profitability forecasts, ABL emphasizes the liquidation value of the collateral assets. This characteristic makes ABL particularly suitable for companies looking to recapitalize, as it provides access to capital based on existing assets rather than future earnings.

The Role of ABL in Recapitalization

The role of Asset-Based Lending (ABL) in a recapitalization strategy is multifaceted and pivotal for businesses looking to restructure their financial architecture for various strategic purposes. Recapitalization often aims to stabilize or optimize a company’s capital structure, enhance financial performance, or prepare for significant growth, mergers, or acquisitions. ABL plays a critical role in this process by providing the necessary liquidity and financial flexibility through secured loans against the company’s assets. Here’s how ABL facilitates recapitalization:

Providing Immediate Cash Flow

Recapitalization often aims to improve a company’s cash flow by refinancing existing debt under more favorable terms. Asset-based loans can inject immediate liquidity into the business, allowing it to refinance high-interest debt or consolidate multiple debt instruments into a single, more manageable loan. This infusion of cash can significantly reduce monthly debt service obligations, freeing up cash for operations and growth initiatives.

Enhancing Financial Stability

By leveraging existing assets to secure financing, companies can improve their balance sheets and reduce reliance on unsecured debt or equity financing. This strengthens financial stability and can make the business more attractive to investors and creditors.

Facilitating Debt Restructuring

Companies undergoing recapitalization often aim to restructure existing debt. ABL can provide the funds necessary to pay down or refinance high-cost debt, replace it with more affordable debt secured by assets, or negotiate better terms. This restructuring can lead to lower interest expenses and improved cash flow management.

Supporting Acquisitions or Mergers

Companies considering mergers or acquisitions can use ABL as a recapitalization strategy to finance the deal. By borrowing against the combined assets of both entities, businesses can secure the necessary capital to complete the transaction without diluting ownership through equity financing.

Offering Flexible Financing Solutions

ABL’s flexibility is particularly beneficial in recapitalization efforts, as it can be tailored to meet specific needs. Whether a company needs a lump sum to facilitate a one-time transaction or ongoing access to capital for a series of strategic moves, ABL can be structured accordingly.

Facilitating Turnarounds

For companies in turnaround situations, recapitalization through asset-based lending can provide the crucial liquidity needed to stabilize operations. ABL allows businesses to leverage their assets to obtain funding, which can be used to invest in critical areas, restructure operations, or pay off pressing liabilities.

Preparing for Growth

Recapitalization can also prepare companies for significant growth phases by optimizing their capital structure for new investments. Asset-based lending offers flexible, scalable financing solutions that can grow with the company, providing the financial foundation necessary for expansion.

Implementing ABL as a Recapitalization Strategy

Implementing Asset-Based Lending (ABL) as a recapitalization strategy involves a series of structured steps designed to leverage a company’s assets for financial restructuring and strategic growth. This process requires careful planning, evaluation, and execution to ensure that the ABL facility aligns with the company’s broader financial and operational goals. Here are the key steps in implementing ABL as a recapitalization strategy:

1. Assess Financial Health and Objectives

  • Conduct a thorough financial analysis to understand the current state of the company’s finances, including liquidity, debt levels, and cash flow.
  • Identify specific objectives for recapitalization, such as debt reduction, growth funding, or capital structure optimization.

2. Evaluate Assets for Financing

  • Inventory assets that can be used as collateral, including accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, and potentially real estate.
  • Appraise the value of these assets to determine how much capital can be raised through ABL.

3. Select the Right ABL Lender

  • Research potential lenders that specialize in asset-based lending within your industry.
  • Evaluate lender terms, flexibility, and services offered to ensure they meet your recapitalization needs.

4. Prepare and Submit Application

  • Gather required documentation, such as financial statements, accounts receivable aging reports, inventory lists, and details of other assets.
  • Submit a detailed application to the chosen ABL lender, clearly outlining your recapitalization objectives and how you plan to use the funds.

5. Negotiate Terms and Structure the Facility

  • Work closely with the lender to negotiate the terms of the ABL facility, including interest rates, advance rates against collateral, fees, and repayment schedule.
  • Structure the facility to align with your financial objectives, ensuring flexibility for growth and operational needs.

6. Due Diligence and Approval

  • Cooperate with the lender’s due diligence process, which will involve a detailed examination of your financials, collateral assets, and business operations.
  • Address any concerns to move towards final approval and establishment of the ABL facility.

7. Implement Financial Controls

  • Establish robust financial controls to manage the ABL facility effectively, including regular monitoring of collateral values and financial performance.
  • Ensure accurate reporting to the lender as required under the terms of the agreement.

8. Utilize Funds for Recapitalization

  • Access the funds as per the agreement and use them strategically for the intended recapitalization purposes, such as paying down existing debt, investing in growth, or restructuring the capital base.

9. Ongoing Management and Review

  • Regularly review the ABL facility in the context of your company’s evolving financial situation and strategic objectives.
  • Adjust the facility as needed, in consultation with your lender, to ensure it continues to support your business effectively.

Real-World Example

Imagine a mid-sized manufacturing company with a strong order book but facing cash flow pressure due to slow-paying customers and high levels of existing debt. By implementing ABL, the company uses its accounts receivable and inventory as collateral to secure a flexible line of credit. This infusion of capital allows the company to immediately pay down expensive debt and invest in critical growth initiatives, such as expanding production capacity and entering new markets. The ABL facility provides the financial breathing room needed for the company to execute its strategic plan, leading to improved profitability and a healthier balance sheet.


Asset-based lending offers a versatile and effective strategy for companies looking to recapitalize. Whether the goal is to improve cash flow, finance an acquisition, navigate a turnaround, or prepare for growth, ABL provides a solution that leverages existing assets to secure the necessary funding. By carefully assessing asset liquidity, choosing the right lender, and structuring the loan to align with strategic goals, businesses can successfully use asset-based lending as a cornerstone of their recapitalization strategy.


ABOUT eCapital

Since 2006, eCapital has been on a mission to change the way small to medium sized businesses access the funding they need to reach their goals. We know that to survive and thrive, businesses need financial flexibility to quickly respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities, all in real time. Companies today need innovation guided by experience to unlock the potential of their assets to give better, faster access to the capital they require.

We’ve answered the call and have built a team of over 600 experts in asset evaluation, batch processing, customer support and fintech solutions. Together, we have created a funding model that features rapid approvals and processing, 24/7 access to funds and the freedom to use the money wherever and whenever it’s needed. This is the future of business funding, and it’s available today, at eCapital.

James Poston

James is an experienced product expert in receivables financing, trade finance including purchase order financing, and asset-based lending. In his role, he oversees eCapital’s sales strategy by driving business development and creating unified revenue generation processes across our organization. Utilizing his experience in developing strategic relationships and nurturing strong networks, James is positioned to expand our company’s market footprint and industry associations.

Prior to joining the eCapital organization, James served as Executive Vice President and Sales Director for Bibby Financial Services Canada. During that time, he participated in all aspects of the organization including operations, credit and finally business development where he was named a 40 under 40 Award recipient by Secured Finance Network.

James is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Economics degree with concentrations in international relations and political economy from McGill University.

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