When EKN introduced a battery of new support measures during the Covid-19 crisis, the response was overwhelming.
With more than 100 years of experience, Getinge is well established in the medtech market. Today, the Swedish-owned company has customers in 135 countries and 10,000 employees worldwide. Getinge mainly provides products and solutions for hospitals and their intensive care and operating rooms, cardiovascular procedures and sterilisation processes. The company also has sales in pharma and research.
For a number of years, Getinge has been relying on EKN’s support in the form of guarantees for both short and medium-term supplier credits as well as buyer credit guarantees. With such guarantees, EKN covers the entire credit offered to buyers and projects in any country, so long as there is enough Swedish interest. This means that at least approximately 30 percent of the goods are of Swedish origin or that there is an indirect export connection. EKN’s attractive buyer credit options give even smaller medtech players an opportunity to do business that might otherwise be difficult to obtain.
Getinge’s financial team has been collaborating regularly with the EKN team, particularly since the medtech company centralised its financial services four years ago.
“EKN has been supportive from day one and they are really instrumental for the success of Getinge Financial Services,” says France-based Sébastien Blanche, Global Head Getinge Financial Services.
EKN helps to structure financial solutions for our customers whereby Getinge gets paid up front. This is an advantage for us in terms of working capital and cash – and it’s an advantage for the customer who gets extended payment and repays directly to the bank over a period of up to five to seven years.
For Getinge, which has positioned itself as a turnkey solutions provider, it’s an optimal arrangement, he adds. “We can offer a one-stop shopping option for the customer who gets high quality medical equipment and devices, consultancy, training – and now also financing with attractive payment models. With EKN we try to bundle our products and solutions with innovative payment schemes. This is a key way for us to differentiate from the competition.”
Blanche also highlights the advantages of working with the Swedish export credit agency rather than another export credit agency (ECA). “EKN will cover transactions even if the products are not manufactured in Sweden. So long as the company has a strong Swedish interest it can get support. This is a huge difference compared to some other export credit agencies that require most of the content to be manufactured in the export country. And for a global player like Getinge, which has 19 production facilities all over the world, EKN’s content policy is a big advantage.”
In addition to such flexibility, he cites other benefits when working with the Swedish ECA, such as the country’s triple-A credit rating, Sweden’s solid reputation, the very close collaboration offered by EKN, and the value of the guarantee.
“EKN makes it possible for us to offer our customers credit also for small transactions, that could be less straightforward with another ECA and commercial bank,” says Blanche. “EKN is always trying to be innovative and understand the customer needs. It is a credit agency that is willing to invest time and support exporters even on rather small transactions. This is a unique approach that gives a true competitive advantage. I would recommend that all medtech companies use EKN!”