The UK branch of investment fund Elliot Advisers has taken a majority stake in specialist lender Enra Specialist Finance for an undisclosed sum.
Elliott acquired its share of the business from management of the lender and Exponent Private Equity, which has owned Enra for five years but will now exit the business altogether.
The lender – which owns West One Loans, Enterprise Finance and Vantage Finance – says the deal “is the culmination of a competitive process that happened extremely quickly and saw several global investment firms compete for acquire Enra”.
Two Elliot members will join Enra’s board, associate portfolio manager Richard Monahan and portfolio manager Amit Sharma. The deal is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Enra Founder and Managing Director, Danny Waters, said: “In Elliott, we have found a partner who has deep experience of the UK mortgage market and an ambition to support Enra’s continued growth as a specialist lending par excellence in the UK.
“This will be Enra’s third private equity transaction in the last 10 years and our continued success has been made possible by the hard work of my team at Enra.
“2021 was a banner year for Enra in terms of gross loans and overall financial performance, and over the past eighteen months we have increased our warehouse financing capacity, issued our second securitization, and we have now found a new partner to support the business for years to come.This puts Enra in a fantastic position to further develop its lending and brokerage business.
Elliot’s Monahan adds: “We have been active investors in the UK lending market for many years with holdings in companies such as Charter Court Financial Services and OneSavings Bank. Enra is a standout player in a crowded market with the scale, experience, financing capability and leadership to ensure continued success.
“Over the past five years, we have seen Enra rapidly move from bridging loans to development finance, second charge loans and, more recently, specialized buy-to-let, and we recognize a company that has the ability to generate significant additional growth at attractive levels of risk-adjusted return.
“Danny has built a business that can underwrite tightly controlled credit risk at attractive spreads on several different products to generate significant earnings growth. Taken together, this makes for an extremely compelling investment case.
Enra says its West One lending business generates around £1.5 billion in assets a year.
Elliot’s UK branch is part of US-based Elliott Investment Management, which manages around $51.5 billion in assets.