Praetura Asset Finance has acquired Kingsway Finance following a £15m investment by RM Secured Direct Lending.

RM Secured Direct Lending (RMDL) specialises in providing debt financing, and structured and subscribed to an initial issuance of a £15m loan note programme with Praetura.

The funding allowed Praetura Asset Finance to acquire Kingsway Finance to form what RMDL called one of the largest independent asset finance companies in the UK.

With a combined loan book of £100m, the enlarged group will offer SMEs a wider range of services.

Praetura offers funding between £10k – £3m for leasing, hire purchase and refinancing across various hard asset classes, including transport, construction, engineering and agriculture.

Kingsway offers funding for vehicles as well as across the IT, kitchen, office and display sectors, as well as professions loans.

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By GlobalData

This investment marks RMDL’s sixth investment within the leasing sector.

In August 2017, RMDL made its initial £10m investment in Praetura.

In January last year, it told Leasing Life about its investment plans in the industry.

Following RMDL’s first transaction with Praetura, the group has established a successful track record of organic growth and will now be able to undertake larger and more valuable deals.

Pietro Nicholls, portfolio manager, RM Funds, said: “We are delighted to support Praetura in their acquisition of Kingsway Finance. With a well-established mid-market enterprise, demonstrable cash flows and highly expertise management team Praetura fits our selective investment criteria. RM Funds is focused on growing and diversifying our portfolio of secured, high-quality debt investments.”

Peadar O’Reilly, director, Praetura Capital, said: “RM Funds are pragmatic and supportive investors, and the success of this transformative acquisition was enhanced by their ability to structure and execute a flexible solution within a challenging timetable. We are looking forward to continuing to work with them as we expand our portfolio.”

Mike Hartley, managing director, Praetura Asset Finance, said: “This is our second transaction alongside RM Funds and we were pleased that they were able to support us in providing this acquisition finance. We have ambitious growth targets for 2019 and see further opportunities to consolidate a fragmented speciality finance sector.”