EverBank Commercial Finance Inc. has launched a new business unit that specializes in financing equipment purchases and leasing for the flexible packaging and plastics industries.

The move marks the return to the plastics financing sector of Samuel Smith III, the former president of plastics financing firm Wentworth Capital Corp., which was sold to Wells Fargo Equipment Finance Inc.

“We believe the market is really in need of a strategic lender who understands the industry,” Smith says.

Small plastics companies are still suffering from the credit crunch that hit manufacturers in 2008-09, according to Smith. Some banks are reluctant to lend to processors that need to buy equipment to take advantage of opportunities in the recovering economy.

“The recovery is going to be fueled by a lot of the privately held companies - those in the range of $5 million to $50 million in annual revenues,” Smith says. “They need to have the ability to add new equipment to replace gear that might be a little bit antiquated.”

Smith has long been associated with the plastics industry - his father Samuel H. Smith Jr. was the former president of Van Dorn Plastic Machinery Co.

Read the rest of this article here.