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World Fuel Turns To Assets for Credit

  • World Fuel Services LogoThe Company: World Fuel Services, a distributor of marine and aviation fuel products.
  • The Filing: FORM 8-K filed with the SEC on October 3, 2008.
  • The Finding: World Fuel Services improved its liquidity profile by an additional $160 million after entering into a two year syndicated trade receivables purchase facility program with HSBC Bank. The monies will likely be used to purchase fuel products for re-sale to customers.
The Upshot: As the lending pipeline seizes up, it is getting more difficult for companies to secure lines of commercial credit necessary for working capital requirements and strategic investment opportunities. Using its $1.8 billion in trade receivables, World Fuel successfully trebled existing cash of $54.7 million on its balance sheet

Oh, forget about issuing short-term commercial paper, for that market has ceased to exist. Ask World Fuel -- for the six-months ended June 30, the company admitted that $10 million held in short-term paper was "no longer highly liquid and therefore a readibly determined fair market value of the investment was not available," according to the 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 8.

The Question: As the current credit crisis spreads to more banks, could the markets for other types of structured trade deals, such as the securitization of trade receivables, seize-up, too?

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