Shawbrook Bank completes acquisition30/03/2012
Shawbrook Bank has announced its acquisition of Singers Asset Finance Holdings Ltd (“Singers”) which completed 22nd March, 2012. Singers consists of Singers Corporate Asset Finance which provides hire purchase and leasing for vehicles (including taxis), machinery and specialist equipment to UK SMEs as well as Block Discounting lines to asset finance brokers, and Singers Healthcare Finance which is one of the few providers of equipment leasing to NHS Trusts and the private healthcare sector.
Shawbrook is a specialist savings and lending bank that launched in October 2011 with a commitment to increasing lending to SMEs, using brokers to distribute its lending products. The specialist lending teams of both businesses will enable Shawbrook to offer SMEs a greater range of secured lending products. Shawbrook Bank was formed by combining three financial businesses, Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank (“WLB”), the lending platform of Commercial First, and Link Loans. The lending platform of Commercial First and Link Loans became part of WLB in March 2011 and August 2011 respectively. Shawbrook Bank is owned by a special opportunities fund created by RBS and the taxpayer-backed bank still holds a 13 percent interest in it.Singers is a longstanding name in finance that was caught up in the turbulence of the Icelandic banking bubble of 2008, but administrators allowed it to continue as a going concern and a recognised player in the provision of hire purchase and leasing to UK SMEs and the healthcare sector. Singers retain their name and brand as part of the acquisition, enabling both Shawbrook and Singers to continue to seamlessly operate their relationships and contracts with their existing customers. Sir George Mathewson, Chairman of Shawbrook Bank said, “The acquisition of Singers Asset Finance is an exciting step in Shawbrook’s growth as a savings and lending specialist. Singers is a strong, successful business, and by joining forces we will be extending our offer to SMEs and giving customers access to the experience and knowledge within both of our specialist lending teams. Since we launched Shawbrook Bank we have seen huge demand for loans from SMEs, and by adding asset finance to our lending offer we can help even more small businesses to grow.” Richard Pyman, Chairman and CEO of Singers Asset Finance said, “We knew from the outset that Shawbrook would be a natural match for Singers. Both businesses are focussed on making it easier and more straightforward for SMEs to borrow, and we are united in our desire to provide traditional, straightforward lending. Having a strong new owner in Shawbrook Bank marks a new chapter for Singers, and we look forward to working alongside Shawbrook to offer the best possible service for our customers.” The acquisition was completed by Ernst & Young, Joint Administrators of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd (“KSF”), which resulted in the repayment of Singers’ debt due to KSF in full, and the equity stake held by KSF being realised at premium.