Subprime lender Amigo launches sale process

Tue, 18 Feb 2020 | BUSINESS SALE

UK subprime lender Amigo has announced that it is in talks with potential buyers after it formally launched a strategic review and sales process last month. As of Tuesday morning, the company was valued at around £250 million.

The company says it has received several indications of interest from multiple parties, with whom it has entered into non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

Amigo appointed RBC Capital Markets to handle its sales process following the launch of its strategic review and sales process at the end of January.

A sale could involve the whole company, parts of it, a sale of the UK business or a de-listing. Amigo’s shares went up 8 per cent following the announcement of the process.

Amigo offers loans of as much as £10,000 to borrowers with weak credit histories. Loans have an average annual percentage of 49.9 per cent. It has recently been affected by regulatory pressure, including scrutiny from the Financial Conduct Authority.

The company’s latest accounts, to the year ending March 31st 2019, show it making £95 million profit after tax and total comprehensive income attributable to equity shareholders, up from £72.2 million the year before. At the time of filing those accounts, it had total assets worth £796.3 million.

Amigo’s founder James Benamor last year returned as a non-executive director, while chief executive Hamish Paton and chairman Stephan Wilcke exited the business.

Analysts at Goodbody speculated in a note that it thinks Provident Financial will pursue discussions with Amigo, and said: "We have already been of the strong view that there would be significant interest in this business”.

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