Non-Standard Finance hires Bell Pottinger for IPO as it targets £100m acquisition spree

Bell Pottinger has been appointed to represent Non-Standard Finance, a new company that is seeking to consolidate the UK's alternative finance sector, as it looks to float on the London Stock Exchange and raise about £100m for acquisitions.

John van Kuffeler: Targeting about 20 acquisitions in the alternative finance sector
John van Kuffeler: Targeting about 20 acquisitions in the alternative finance sector

The agency will handle financial PR for the new group on a retained basis following its planned IPO. Public affairs is also expected to form part of the remit as the new company deals with anticipated regulatory issues.

Non-Standard Finance, which is chaired by former CEO and chairman of Provident Financial John van Kuffeler, has identified around 20 out of more than 100 non-standard lending businesses in the UK that it hopes to acquire.

The firm has already secured £48m from three investors – Woodford, Invesco and Marathon – based on an offer of £100m. A price of £1 per share is proposed.

The company said: "As non-standard lending volumes by previous market leaders have declined following the 2007/2008 financial crisis, a significant portion of the UK population has found itself with limited credit-raising options, an issue that is now being addressed by new specialist entrants into the market.

"The directors believe that many of these firms in the non-standard consumer finance sector have reached a stage of development where more professional management expertise and additional investment is required.

"NSF intends to enable its acquired companies or businesses to realise their growth potential through scaling of IT, capital, compliance and finance platforms."

Van Kuffeler said: "Following the financial crisis a significant part of the UK's population cannot gain access to mainstream financial services. A number of entrepreneurial start-ups began to fill the gap in the market, but many of these firms lack the capability to reach their full potential.

"By treating customers fairly, delivering excellent service and lending responsibly, we plan to establish a sustainably profitable group of businesses serving an important socio-demographic cluster."

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