An RBC Royal Bank KBI Success Story: Creo Inc.
Creo and a Unique Idea
In 1983, long before CD-ROMs and other high-density data storage equipment became commonplace, Creo Inc. co-founders Dan Gelbart and Ken Spencer had the unique idea that optical technology could be used to record large amounts of information on tapes.
The terabyte storage capacity of their technology could be used in ways unimaginable or unaffordable before, such as capturing streams of image data from satellites. Shortly after the company was formed, it found its true market niche - the printing and pre-press sectors, which were just starting to tap the potential for digital image capture systems, imaging devices for films, plates and proofs, and scanning systems.
In the years to follow, Creo Inc. and its proprietary technology became world leaders in the graphic arts industry. As an Original Equipment Manufacture supplier for major world brands, Creo makes imaging technology, digital press components and colour servers for high-speed, print-on-demand digital printers. In recent years, it has expanded its own brand, with products ranging from high-end, 25-megapixel digital cameras to fibre optic telecom technology.
Creo and RBC Royal Bank
Over the years, Creo took advantage of the financial expertise of RBC Royal Bank's Information Technology team. "As the company grows into an international enterprise," says Creo general counsel Paul Kacir, "RBC Royal Bank has been able to help with treasury management and sophisticated instruments such as derivatives and hedging strategies."
RBC Royal Bank was also there when Creo needed investment banking services and interim financing for acquisitions and capital market activities. Kacir says a valuable component of Creo's international operations is a syndicate of working capital put together by RBC Royal Bank. "It is the main credit facility for the company worldwide," he notes.
Creo and Success
Today, Creo manufactures over 300 products and has 4,100 employees in 30 offices around the world. Based in Burnaby, the company has product development and manufacturing facilities in British Columbia, Israel and Boston. Other sales, support and distribution centers are located around the world, with regional offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney and Brussels.
Trading publicly on NASDAQ and The Toronto Stock Exchange since 1999, the company has not stopped growing. It bought Scitex Corporation Ltd., a leading pre-press business in 2000, and Kacir says other acquisitions are likely in the future.
RBC Royal Bank has played a role in that success. "Your lender has to be a partner in the business and understand it," says Kacir. "They are one aspect of the capital structure of the enterprise and they need to advance that enterprise. They should be trying to solve your problems and not create more of them."
For more information on how RBC Royal Bank can help your Information Technology business, contact us.