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Lessee turns mounting problems into business opportunity

Alberta, Canada

Sometimes it seems like nothing goes right. We hear some crazy and inspirational stories of small business owners overcoming incredible challenges through hard work, guts and persistence. This Done Deal illustrates circumstances around our client Hugh and how mutual trust and creative thinking enabled him to turn the corner from big problem to opportunity. With operating capital secured through a sale-leaseback and equipment obtained through lease financing, this business owner was able to seize a fantastic opportunity.

A challenging situation

Our lease client was an oilfield industry business owner providing trucking-related services. Back in 2016 when oil prices dropped severely he, like many others, made a switch to work in forestry. Then when the logging transport company he worked for held his pay and then declared bankruptcy, he was left in a lurch unable to pay creditors.

Despite a precarious position, our client had a few things going for him:

  • He communicated his situation to us fully
  • As a straight-shooter, we understood and trusted his word
  • He demonstrated his tenacity by getting work direct from the mill
  • He had leased equipment with value

A Stump to Dump Opportunity

The mill Hugh was working for saw the same positive attributes that we saw in him. They first offered him a chance to buy a loader to load the logs from the side of the road onto the trailers. Then they offered him a bigger opportunity; to start a whole “stump to dump” logging operation: cutting, skidding, loading and transporting logs to the mill.

Making it happen

Hugh was in the process of selling some equipment to get his various creditors caught up. Once we knew he had a solid business opportunity, we offered to finance the loader and some of his machinery via a sale-leaseback so he could get his creditors current. In order to build a logging operation to service the mill, Hugh would need working capital, and lease financing for a feller buncher, a processor, skidder and a loader.

  • Due to his creditor problem AND the opportunity in front of him, he was willing to allow Arbutus to lien his property to secure a lease if we could finance the equipment he needed.
  • Hugh chose Arbutus to do this deal because of how we were willing to work with him through his initial challenges: he felt compassion, reason and honesty from the Arbutus team.

”We understand that juggling work and family while being an independent business owner has its challenges. We are here to find solutions when you need them most.”


When this deal was done, Hugh brought all of his creditors current, had the equipment required to handle an entire logging operation and the working capital available to see him through the next several weeks. Hugh in turn immediately paid us with the greatest compliment of all: a referral.

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