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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 27, 1999

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

(202) 565-3200

A Penacook, New Hampshire manufacturer of amusement park rides is expanding its presence in global markets backed by an Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) working capital guarantee. O.D. Hopkins Associates, Inc. (Hopkins) is filling a $1.5 million order for a water ride called Shoot the Chute from a European customer with the help of an Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed $750,000 working capital loan from Bank of New Hampshire, Concord, NH. The loan enables Hopkins to offer the foreign buyer competitive payment options. As an Ex-Im Bank Delegated Authority Lender, Bank of New Hampshire can provide Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital loans speedily without prior approval from Ex-Im Bank.

Being able to offer customers favorable payment terms opens new markets for us, said Chrit Dingena, Hopkins contract administrator. Without the Ex-Im Bank financing, we were limited mainly to customers who pay in cash or make regular progress payments. Now we can sell to companies such as this buyer, who wanted to repay the majority of the financing balance at the end of the contract. Dingena sees the Ex-Im Bank guarantee as a tool to expand sales worldwide, and expects to hire new staff in the future to meet growing demand.

Hopkins needed additional working capital to construct the ride under the foreign buyer's payment terms, said Mary W. McLaughlin, Bank of New Hampshire senior vice president. Ex-Im Bank's guarantee gave us the comfort to extend financing taking foreign receivables as collateral on the loan. Knowing that the loan was there, Hopkins could accept the buyer's payment format.

Exports account for roughly 60-70% of sales by Hopkins, a 100-employee company that sells major water amusement rides worldwide. The Shoot the Chute involves a boat carrying 20 people up a slope and then down a chute into a large pond, creating a huge splash. Already, Hopkins has some additional export prospects that would require use of this working capital guarantee facility, Dingena said.

In New Hampshire over the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has helped 46 companies in 27 communities export $212 million in goods and services, sustaining an estimated 3,073 jobs and contributing to the success of many local companies. Nearly three fourths (74%) of the transactions involved small business exports.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to industrializing and developing markets all over the world by providing loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank expects to support $15 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.