PATA, which is Latvia’s largest private company in timber industry, timber logistics and trade, providing a full forest management cycle, as well as one of the biggest private forest owners of national capital in Latvia, has established a company PATA Finance that will, in cooperation with Signet Bank, specialize in providing financial support to forest owners and farmers.
The goal of PATA Finance is to ensure the availability of financing to Latvian forest owners and farmers in a situation where the opportunities to get the necessary support from Latvian banks are quite limited for local businesses.
The new company will provide financial support to forest owners and farmers who quickly need additional funds to develop their economic activities – such as for procurement and auctions of felling area, short-term working capital, EU co-financing contributions, and for other needs to balance the cash flow of forest owners and farmers. Loan applications are scheduled to be reviewed within one business day.
As a Latvian, I find it difficult to watch more and more Latvian forests fall into the hands of foreigners. Currently, 67% of the 100 biggest private forest owners are foreigners, and the area of forests in Latvia owned by Latvians is decreasing every day. Residents of Latvia are often forced to sell their forests due to lack of funds, having no other way to overcome short-term difficulties. The Covid-19 emergency has made it even harder for many people, so we, as a national capital company, see an opportunity to help those domestic forest owners and farmers who are in need at the moment. More than 600 people work in PATA’s companies all over Latvia, we have a wide network of consultants and a circle of cooperation partners for decades, and we are glad that in cooperation with Signet Bank we can use our resources to offer this important service to forest owners and farmers.
Uldis Mierkalns, Head of the PATA Group
Our main priority is financing of Latvian entrepreneurs, which we try to provide to the widest possible range of potential borrowers. We are confident that in cooperation with PATA that has extensive experience and strong positions in the Latvian forest management industry, we will be able to increase the availability of financing in Latvian regions.
Roberts Idelsons, Chairman of the Board at Signet Bank
Financing provided by PATA Finance will be particularly suitable for the needs of forest owners and farmers with uneven cash flow. The allocated funds will help compensate for the industry’s uneven cash flows, helping to ensure timely repayment of loans. PATA Finance will provide a loan of up to 70% of the property value.
The bank was founded in 1992 as Latvijas Biznesa banka. Since 2013, it has focused its strategy on servicing entrepreneurs and their businesses, with an emphasis on high-quality capital maintenance and structured investment projects. Signet Bank’s majority shareholders are a group of Latvian and international investors, which includes SIA Hansalink, SIA Fin.lv, and Signet Acquisition III.