Close Brothers has acquired Bluestone Motor Finance as it attempts to expand into the Irish motor market.
The deal, announced this morning in a regulatory announcement, is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
Since its launch in 2014, Bluestone Motor Finance has originated more than €450m loans and has €132m in loans under management.
It has a distribution network of over 650 partners focusing on the prime and specialist segments of the Irish motor finance market.
Adrian Sainsbury, Close Brothers boss, said: “Bluestone Motor Finance has delivered impressive growth and will complement our motor finance presence in the UK and Ireland, a strategic growth market for the group.”
Seán Kemple, who leads Close Brothers’ motor finance team in Ireland, also reiterated that advancing in the Irish motor finance market has been a “strategic priority” for the bank.
“Today we join a company with deep history and experience in the Irish and UK motor finance industry, and we look forward to the opportunities ahead of us in the Irish market,” Donal Murphy, managing director at Bluestone Motor Finance said.
Close Brothers has faced a bruising year, with its share price falling over 20 per cent so far.
At its half year results in March, the firm set aside £100m to cover bad loans from legal-finance specialist Novitas, dragging its adjusted operating profits down 90 per cent to £12.6m.
In a trading update in May however, it reported a small increase in its loan book and inflows to its asset management arm despite market uncertainty.
Its shares climbed 2.6 per cent after the deal was announced.