Challenger Bank Aldermore Targets New Funds
Aldermore, one of Britain's fastest-growing lenders to small and medium-sized companies, is in talks with leading City investors about raising tens of millions of pounds to accelerate its expansion.
Sky News has learned that Aldermore is in advanced negotiations with Lansdowne Partners, Och-Ziff and Toscafund about injecting tens of millions of pounds in exchange for a significant minority shareholding in the bank.
The talks come as Aldermore prepares to join the Government's Help to Buy scheme aimed at stimulating the UK housing market.
People close to the situation said on Monday that Aldermore may agree to raise capital from all of the three funds with which it is in talks. The exact size of the capital-raising is unclear although the deal is expected to value the bank at several hundred million pounds.
"I can confirm that Aldermore is exploring options to raise additional capital to continue the bank's rapid growth," a spokesman said.
"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."
One insider said the Aldermore fundraising, which is being handled by Credit Suisse, the investment bank, was the precursor to a flotation of the bank in the next two years.
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 RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.
Metro Bank, which is raising £385m to fund its expansion, has said it may float in 2016.
Virgin Money and Santander UK are also likely to pursue listings at some stage, although senior HSBC insiders dismissed a report on Monday that it was actively looking at a separate listing of its UK business.
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