Macquarie Bank acquires stake in Bluestone

Australia’s Macquarie Bank, which funded Paragon Mortgages return to the market has acquired a 17.5% share in the Bluestone Group.

Bluestone is a  capital and asset management business and is owned by a mix of private and institutional shareholders, including Bank of Scotland, Crescent Capital and Barclays Bank.

Bluestone says the investment will enable it to expand its operations in the UK.

Bluestone established an office in the UK in early 2009, and is currently gaining regulatory consents and adapting its loan servicing system to operate as an asset manager in a number of European countries.

It has issued over £2.5bn of mortgage backed securities since 2002.

As well as acquiring and creating investment portfolios it is also responsible for the management of loan portfolios.

In September Macquarie provided a £200 million warehouse facility to Paragon Mortgages, enabling it to return to lending.

Alistair Jeffery, chairman of Bluestone, says: “In the UK we are interested in the residential and commercial markets by either acquiring a portfolio of loans or investing in lending businesses and property investors.”

He says it is currently in talks with a number of UK lenders about funding but says it is more likely to look at putting investment into an existing lender instead of a new entrant.  

He adds: “We’re very pleased that an institution with the strength and flair of Macquarie has chosen to invest in Bluestone, and we look forward to developing the relationship in the coming years.

“In our view there are a wide range of attractive investment opportunities emerging in the wake of the global financial crisis, and this investment positions Bluestone to benefit from the diverse opportunities we are seeing.”