First West Capital funds multi-million dollar expansion deal for the largest diamond cutting and polishing manufacturer in North America

Funding accelerates growth in the Canadian diamond industry

Langley, B.C. — First West Capital today announced it has funded a multi-million dollar expansion deal for Crossworks Manufacturing, the largest manufacturer of Canadian diamonds in the world, operating out of Vancouver, Sudbury and Yellowknife.

Last year, Crossworks successfully renewed its exclusive access to the diamonds from the De Beers’ Victor Mine in northeastern Ontario – valued at $35 million worth of rough diamonds per year for three years – cementing its position as the only company with purchasing rights for Victor Mine diamonds until 2015. The funding from First West Capital will be used to expand Crossworks’ cutting and polishing manufacturing operations to accommodate growth from the renewed contract.

“We are proud to be a Canadian company operating at the highest echelons of the diamond industry,” says Uri Ariel, President, Crossworks Manufacturing Ltd. “As part of our growth plan, we found First West Capital to excel in providing the necessary solutions to our business needs. When partnering with financing providers, we look for lenders with practical solutions and First West Capital has shown that they are a practical and business-forward lender. Notably, our partnership will enable us to continue to compete on the international stage.”

A decade ago, the diamond industry was barely on the radar in Canada, but now Canada is now one of the largest diamond producing countries in the world.

“We’re thrilled to be a financing partner for Crossworks as it expands operations and contributes to the growth of the Canadian diamond industry,” says First West Capital vice-president Kristi Miller. “The diamond industry is very capital intensive. Understanding Crossworks’ history, performance and people was critical, as a financing partnership is more than just a question of ratios and repayment terms. After learning more about the Crossworks management team, the diamond industry and Crossworks’ existing partners, we were able to put together a financing package that allowed them to pursue this expansion opportunity.”

For First West Capital’s parent company, First West Credit Union, the deal with Crossworks demonstrates the strength of the credit union’s unique multi-brand operating model. First West’s CEO Launi Skinner comments, “Many people only associate credit unions with savings and loans or small business financing. However, this deal showcases how First West is able to fund large, expanding companies in fast-growing industries, bringing substantial business to our local credit union brands. It’s another great example of how we are working big, while working local.”

About Crossworks Manufacturing Ltd.

Crossworks is the largest manufacturer of branded Canadian diamonds in the world. With three Canadian polishing facilities (Sudbury, Yellowknife and Vancouver), Crossworks has distribution throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Crossworks is also a DTC (de Beers) Sight Holder, Rio Tinto Select Diamantaire, authorized partner for Argyle Pink Diamonds and a Forevermark Diamantaire.

About First West Capital

First West Capital, specializes in financing small and medium-sized businesses, with funding ranging from $0.5 million to $10 million, across all industries in Western Canada through customized subordinated loans and mezzanine financing. With a collaborative and partner-focused approach, we help clients finance expansion, acquisitions, MBO and shareholder buyouts and high ratio real estate. www.firstwestcapital.ca