Challenger Bank Aldermore Targets 2014 Float
The challenger bank Aldermore is targeting a stock market listing within a year as it finalises a multimillion-pound fundraising to accelerate its expansion.
Sky News has learnt that two blue-chip funds, Lansdowne Partners and Toscafund, are to inject about £40m into Aldermore in a deal that will value the lender at more than £450m.
The transaction comes on the day that Aldermore joins the Government's Help to Buy scheme, which is aimed at stimulating the housing market but which has already stoked a debate about whether it will foment a bubble in property prices.
Lansdowne is understood to be investing £10m in Aldermore, while Toscafund is injecting £30m as part of the fundraising.
A third fund, Och-Ziff Capital Management, is understood to have withdrawn from the talks at a late stage.
Aldermore is led by Philip Monks, a former Barclays executive, and its majority shareholder is AnaCap, a private equity firm.
"I can confirm that Aldermore is exploring options to raise additional capital to continue the bank's rapid growth," a spokesman said when Sky News revealed the talks with potential investors earlier this month.
"The bank returned a profit of £9.2m in the first half of this year and is on course to deliver even greater returns by the end of 2013.
"We have very supportive shareholders who are willing to invest in the bank and fund our growth plans to ensure we continue to champion SMEs and consumers across the UK."
An insider confirmed that Aldermore had agreed with its new investors that it would begin exploring an initial public offering of shares next year.
There is an unprecedented pipeline of British banks waiting to list their shares publicly, including branch networks being sold under European state aid rules by both Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group under the TSB name.
Metro Bank, which is raising £385m to fund its expansion, has said it is likely to target a flotation in 2016.
Virgin Money, which on Monday begins trialling current accounts with its 3,000 employees, and Santander UK are also likely to pursue listings within two years.
An Aldermore spokeswoman declined to comment on the details of its fundraising.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.