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The Bonnefield Story

Sep 01, 2021
By Leslie Stewart

Since 2005, Bonnefield has worked alongside farmers to help grow their operations, reduce their debt levels, and finance retirement. Completely Canadian-owned and operated, Bonnefield strives to keep Canadian farmland for farming. They work to provide an alternative source of capital to farming families to give them to freedom to grow their business.

               While trying to get an agricultural business back on its feet in 2005, the company’s founders learned that restructuring the balance sheet was the path to financial success. While the business had a healthy income statement, cash flow was limited by inefficient capital structure. By selling some of their land and leasing it back on a long-term basis, they could unlock their equity in land and finance their business appropriately.

When Bonnefield’s founders were unable to find a company that would provide lease financing, they saw the opportunity to create a business and provide the service themselves. Thus, Bonnefield was born to help other individuals out of a similar financial situation.

               Over the past decade, Bonnefield has been working alongside Canadian farmers to understand and meet their unique real estate needs. Whether that is in providing sale-leaseback opportunities for those looking to improve cash flows or by helping farmers grow their operations with new acquisitions.

               “Every farmer I’ve met understands that their greatest challenge is their access to capital,” Wally Johnston, Bonnefield’s vice president of business development says. “Farming is a capital-intensive business and without it, it’s hard to reach the scale required to be successful.”

Bonnefield recognizes that the nature of farming requires leadership at the farm. Through their lease financing model, they leave the farming decisions to the talented professionals who know how to farm sustainably and profitably.

 

Case Study

The Smiths were a young couple who inherited a family farming business along with a heavy debt load. They were looking to grow their operation to a more efficient size and improve their financial situation. An equity investor would limit their freedom to make decisions about their business and going to a bank for a loan would increase their debt level, so they went to Bonnefield for help.

               After a few short meetings with the team, the Smiths learned how working with Bonnefield could work with them to strengthen their business. Within several months, Bonnefield purchased 500 acres of their land and leased it back under their revolving lease structure. This guaranteed they would have long-term access to the land.

               The following season, the Smiths found a large 2500-acre block of land nearby that Bonnefield bought and leased back to them to farm on a long-term basis. Through these two transactions, the family now had a larger land base to run a more efficient operation. They paid down debt and covered their input costs. Now, for the first time in multiple generations, the Smiths had a healthy balance sheet.

It's your turn. Reach out to Canada’s foremost provider of land-lease financing for farmers today. Learn how you can strengthen your balance sheet, improve your cashflow, and grow your business by partnering with Bonnefield.


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