British Business Investments (BBI), a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank (BBB), has announced a £15m follow-on investment into Universal Leasing Limited, according to a press release.

The investment, which follows an earlier £12m commitment made to Universal Leasing in 2018, allows the company to further increase its support for smaller businesses. 

The transaction will be structured as a block discounting facility that will allow Universal Leasing to provide funding support to smaller businesses looking to acquire business-critical assets to accelerate their growth, the press release said.

Over the last 10 years, Universal Leasing has provided over £150 million in funding to support more than 6,000 customers in the SME sector.

BBI aims to increase the supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK by boosting the lending capacity of a range of finance providers. Since it was established in 2014, BBI has committed more than £3.3 billion to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses.

Judith Hartley, CEO of British Business Investments, said: “Following our earlier commitment of £12m to Universal Leasing in 2018, we are pleased to be making a £15m follow-on investment. This investment will allow Universal Leasing to further expand their support for smaller businesses across the UK.’’

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Michael Hughes, Managing Director of Universal Leasing, said: “We are delighted that British Business Investments have further extended and increased their facility with Universal Leasing and that the longstanding relationship we have with them will continue to grow over the next few years as a result.

“With its help, we now have approximately £50 million of lease/loan receivables outstanding to UK SMEs. The increased facility provided will help to increase our funding available to UK SMEs to acquire much-needed assets for growth.”

The BBB is a government-owned economic development bank.

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