France-based cocoa trading company Rockwinds has signed its first transactional finance facility since being founded in January 2014.

The deal was arranged by Cofarco, which tells GTR the tenor is one year uncommitted, but could not disclose the amount or the name of the “specialist bank” which provided the financing.

The facility raised will be used to fund pre-sold cocoa beans and products purchased from West African suppliers and sold to international markets, with a sub-limit for inventory financing under collateral management agreement in Europe. The structure is self-liquidating and secured by underlying goods and/or trade receivables on the end-buyers.

Frederic Blanchi, executive partner at Cofarco, says: “In contrast with widespread market sentiment, this transaction goes to show that liquidity for a new trading initiative can be found in the banking market. In the case of Rockwinds, the experience of the firm’s management, the successful track record for the first year in business and the quality of the underlying commercial contracts helped create interest and comfort for the lenders. Discussions are progressing well for a second line with a new bank, which will give Rockwinds additional funding capacity for the next campaign.”

Rockwinds was founded by Matthew Stolz, a former trader at Touton and an active member of the contracts and regulations committee at the Federation of Cocoa Commerce. The firm trades cocoa beans and cocoa-based products supplied by Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Cameroon.

After over a year operating solely through equity, Rockwinds approached Cofarco in September 2015 to start raising debt financing to accommodate its trading growth and related increase in working capital requirements.