Close Brothers close
two deals

Merchant banker Close Brothers Group plc has acquired two niche lending businesses for £33 million.


Merchant banker Close Brothers Group plc has acquired two niche lending businesses for £33 million.

Merchant banker Close Brothers Group plc has acquired two niche lending businesses for £33 million.

Short-term and bridging lender Commercial Acceptances Group and insurance premium finance business Amber Credit will become part of Close Brothers’ banking subsidiary, Close Brothers Limited.

With a combined loan book value of £145 million the businesses are expected to generate returns on gross assets in line with the returns produced by Close Brothers’ Banking division and will be earnings enhancing in 2009.

UK-based Commercial Acceptances has a loan book of around £80 million. Close Brothers acquired the business for £31 million, including goodwill of £7 million, refinancing the group’s existing loan facilities as part of the deal. The existing management team, led by Lawrence Brown, will continue to manage the business as part of the Close Property Finance division.

Amber Credit has a loan book of approximately £65 million. The business was acquired from Skipton Building Society for a consideration of £2 million with goodwill anticipated to be circa £2 million. Close Brothers has also refinanced the group’s existing loan facilities. Amber Credit will be merged with Close Brothers’ existing premium finance business, Close Premium Finance.

Commenting on the acquisitions, Stephen Hodges, managing director of Close
Brothers Group, and executive chairman of Close Brothers Limited, said: “These acquisitions fit well into the Close Brothers’ family and are good examples of Close Brothers applying its capital and funding strength to grow by investing in profitable businesses.”

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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