Asset finance specialist awarded £15m follow-on funding

Judith Hartley

British Business Investments has made a second multimillion-pound investment into a Chadderton independent asset finance specialist.

It has confirmed a £15m follow-on investment into Universal Leasing, having already made a £12m investment in the business in 2018.

The investment allows the company, which trades as Admiral Loans & Leasing, 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.

Over the past 10 years, Universal has provided funding in excess of £150m to support more than 6,000 customers in the SME sector.

British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, 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, British Business Investments has committed more than £3.3bn to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses.

Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “This investment will allow Universal Leasing to further expand their support for smaller businesses across the UK.’’

Michael Hughes, Universal Leasing Limited managing director, thanked British Business Investments for its support, saying: “With its help, we now have approximately £50m 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.”