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ESF Capital SME secured lending platform ThinCats

ThinCats, a European SME secured lending platform which has lent more than GBP140 million since its formation five years ago, has been acquired by a new market entrant, ESF Capital,

The deal, which sees ESF take a 73.4 per cent stake inThinCats, is the first of a number ESF is looking to make across Europe, and provides investment and working capital for ThinCats, significant management and operational resource, together with underwriting capital for the loans on its platform.

ESF is the initiative of sister company ESO Capital, a specialist investment manager focused on European SMEs.
Commenting on the deal, ESO CEO Alex Schmid, says: “Through its extensive experience with European SMEs, ESO was able to identify an opportunity to create an institutional offering through ESF, providing secured lending to this market. Even at this early stage, we have been able to attract significant funding from US and European institutions to take the business forward.” 
ESF’s CEO, John Mould, has taken on the role of CEO of ThinCats with overall responsibility for driving the business’ growth strategy.

Beyond its initial investment in ThinCats, ESF’s objective is to accelerate the growth of selective P2P platforms by investing in, and underwriting loans on, select European P2P platforms and providing operational expertise.

ESF enjoys significant financial backing from European and US financial institutions, capitalising its unique business strategy. Its management team has a wealth of experience across the financial services industry, encompassing specialist credit, technology, product development, marketing, operations and regulation.
John Mould, CEO of ThinCats, says: “Marketplace lending is an attractive investment opportunity – something that many smart individuals have recognised since its inception. The peer to peer lending industry is now coming of age, and we aim to bring the asset class, in a structured and scalable way, to a much wider range of institutional and retail investors.”
With regard to future developments, John Mould says that ESF is in discussions with a number of European platforms, and that: “We are developing leading propositions for institutional and retail investors, to provide an efficient and competitive source of borrowing for a wide range of businesses.”

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