Enterprise Finance to acquire West One Loans‏

By Bridging Loan Directory -

 

Enterprise FinanceLondon, 4 September 2014 — Enterprise Finance today announced its acquisition of bridging lender, West One Loans, in a transaction funded by a combination of cash and equity.

Enterprise Finance is a specialist distributor focused on secured loans, bridging finance and commercial mortgages. It is backed by ISIS Equity Partners, which currently has £1.2bn of funds under management and is one of the leading private equity houses in the SME market.

In April, Enterprise was named the 15th fastest growing company in the UK according to The Sunday Times’ Profit Track 100 league.

The two businesses, which are based in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, are to be integrated in the near future with both companies moving to a new, larger headquarters in the local area.

The existing Enterprise Finance board, chaired by former wealth manager David Campbell and led by CEO Danny Waters, will welcome West One Loans directors Duncan Kreeger and Stephen Wasserman. West One Loans director David Kreeger will also remain with the business.

Following the sale of his shares, Mark Abrahams will be leaving to pursue other business interests. He remains an investor in bridging loan opportunities generated by West One Loans, as he has been since the outset.

Danny Waters, CEO of Enterprise Finance, said:

“We have known the West One Loans team for a long time. Over the past six years, we have watched the business grow from a concept to what it is today – an established, financially robust and proven bridging lender with over £100m of loans under management. We feel, through this acquisition, we can help West One Loans realise its considerable potential far sooner. Also, with Stephen and Duncan joining the board, we will be adding strength and depth to our own senior management team and I look forward to working with them to take the business forward. From now on, our strategy as a group will be focused on both organic and buy-to-build growth, with this the first of a number of planned acquisitions.”

Emily Gestetner, CFO of Enterprise Finance, added:

“This is an unconventional deal in that the market is more used to lenders acquiring distributors. However, there are numerous synergies between the two companies that we are keen to capitalise on in order to grow the group as a whole. The unique West One Loans investor model will also allow us to diversify our own funding model, which could prove very valuable in the long term. Alongside West One Loans’ different and complementary distribution channels, this makes for a very compelling proposition that will considerably strengthen our financial position.”

West One Loans has grown significantly since its incorporation in 2008, becoming one of the largest privately funded short-term lenders in the UK secured lending market, with over £100m of loans currently under management.

Duncan Kreeger, director of West One Loans, said:

“Being part of one of the fastest growing companies in the country is clearly a very exciting prospect for us. This deal will give us more firepower and enable us to expand far more quickly. It’s fantastic news for our high net worth investors and broker partners alike. While high net worth investors remain very valuable to us and will continue to provide a significant part of our funding, the involvement of a blue chip institutional investor should help our investors gain further comfort as the business grows in size and scale. Our broker partners can expect exciting developments in our range and access to new and innovative products. Crucially, this won’t affect how we work with them. The things that set West One Loans apart – the speed at which we do deals, the personal service, and our commitment to brokers – will remain. From that point of view, it’s business as usual.”