Pepper Money moves to acquire Optimum Credit

Pepper Money Ltd has finalised the terms to acquire 100 per cent of second charge lender Optimum Credit Ltd from its current owner Patron Capital.

The move is part of Pepper Money’s ongoing UK growth strategy. The purchase, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will see Pepper Money acquire Optimum Credit’s entire business including a UK second charge loan book of more than £450m.

Cardiff-based Optimum Credit was launched in 2014 and offers a range of variable, fixed and discounted second charge mortgages to homeowners in England, Wales and Scotland. The business is expected to continue its current strategy in relation to second charge mortgage origination, drawing on existing funding methods including public capital markets issuance.

Pepper Money announced last month that it had commenced initial discussions with the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority with a view to seeking authorisation for a banking licence.

Pepper Money chief executive officer Laurence Morey says: “I am pleased to welcome the market leading team at Optimum Credit into the Pepper Money family. We are looking forward to how this acquisition will enhance the growth of Pepper Money’s intermediary led secured lending proposition and are excited at the prospect of supporting the Optimum Credit team in the continued development of their unique proposition supported by excellent systems and intermediary relationships in an exciting market segment.”

Optimum Credit chief executive officer Sam Marshall says: “We are pleased to be joining the Pepper Money team in the UK, Pepper Money has shared a very similar development journey to ours at Optimum Credit, we share a common culture and entrepreneurial approach with the intermediary and UK residential property owner at the core of our proposition. This acquisition will give Optimum Credit access to a wider range of resources and shared expertise that will enhance our business and enable our continued growth.”

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