Leasing Life has learned that Bank of London and the Middle East (BLME) has decided to postpone its acquisition of Renaissance Asset Finance, after the passing of Renaissance managing director and founder Hugh Sigrist in April.

A source close to the deal said that it had been a “difficult” year after the passing of Sigrist, a key architect of the deal between the bank and the leasing business.

The intention for the deal was announced to the press in February this year, and was designed to give mid-ticket lender BLME access to the growing SME leasing market in the UK.

BLME had provided a credit line to the SME lessor in 2014 as a means of beginning a working relationship.

The proposed acquisition would have seen BLME's chief executive Michael Williams, former BLME director Jervis Rhodes and head of corporate banking Frederick Yue join Renaissance's board, while Renaissance maintained a separate branding identity and legal entity.