Challenger bank takes major stake in funding provider

Challenger bank Aldermore has acquired a 48% stake in Blackburn and York-based AFS Group, an independent funding provider.

AFS is one of the largest introducers to asset and commercial finance funders in the UK.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will allow Aldermore to strengthen its position in the business finance broker markets, from asset and invoice finance to commercial mortgages and property development.

Nick Simpson, managing director of AFS said: : “AFS has enjoyed a positive working relationship with Aldermore for a number of years and both businesses know each other well, so it makes absolute sense for us to strengthen our partnership through this agreement. We’re looking forward to working even more closely with the Aldermore team and are excited to have the opportunity to play an even greater part in the Bank’s exciting journey.

“We were delighted with the advice and assistance given by our advisers during the process and are very grateful for the help they provided in concluding matters.”

Matthew Smith, a corporate partner in the York office of Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP, together with colleagues Philip Ashworth and Fiona Philips, provided legal advice to the shareholders of AFS.

Financial advice to AFS’ shareholders was provided by Tony Farmer, a partner with Garbutt + Elliott’s corporate finance team in York.

Matthew Smith of Andrew Jackson Solicitors said: “We are delighted to have helped the shareholders of AFS conclude the deal and realise their ambitions. AFS is a well-established, UK market leader and its partnership with Aldermore will help to take the business to the next level.”

Tony Farmer, corporate finance partner at Garbutt + Elliott, said: “We are very happy to have provided corporate finance advice to AFS throughout this deal and we are confident the transaction will provide the conditions for AFS to continue its growth and fulfill its plans for the future.”