Australian lender Scottish Pacific Business Finance has acquired UK-based trade and debtor finance business Sterling Trade Finance (STF).

Scottish Pacific said the acquisition of STF would expand its distribution and product offering in the UK and provide greater funding options for SMEs in manufacturing, wholesale, retail, distribution, import and export who are looking for trade and invoice finance.

Scottish Pacific’s chief executive officer Peter Langham and UK executive director Ed Bracey announced the expanded business will be known as Scottish Pacific Business Finance (UK) to reflect its broadened capabilities.

The business will be based in new central London offices, with further expansion expected, including a presence in the north of England.

Mr Langham said Scottish Pacific’s UK tradeline team has received many enquiries for broader funding products, such as those offered by STF.

“The acquisition of STF will allow our UK clients access to these solutions, to help grow their business,” Mr Langham said.

“The acquisition will create a stronger supply chain finance business, so that Scottish Pacific is first choice for UK businesses wanting to increase their cash flow and achieve their aspirations,” he said.

Ed Bracey said Scottish Pacific’s UK business has been rapidly growing its presence in the UK market for the past two years, with a strong sales performance focused on trade finance.

The Australian-headquartered Scottish Pacific has more than 1,700 clients and handles more than $AU14bn (€9.9bn) of invoices each year, supported by offices in the UK, China, Australia and New Zealand. It launched into the UK market in March 2015 to help UK SMEs fund their overseas purchases.

Scottish Pacific’s head of International Finance Craig Michie said he was delighted that the founding directors of STF, Soheill Sarkoob (managing director) and Steve Pleace (operations director), would become part of Scottish Pacific’s UK team.

“With their combined 40 plus years of transaction-based funding experience (in invoice, export, import and stock finance), Soheill and Steve will strengthen our growing UK team. The acquisition will give us excellent capability and a broader product range, with our respective product ranges complementing each other,” Michie said.