Bluestone Investment Holdings Limited (Bluestone Group), the European financial services business headquartered in the UK, announced today that it has agreed terms for the sale of its Irish motor finance operations, Bluestone Motor Finance (Ireland) DAC (BMFI) to Close Brothers Limited. Under the terms of the transaction, Bluestone’s holding company will sell 100% of the shares of BMFI and its subsidiaries to Close Brothers in an all cash transaction.
BMFI was established as a lending platform in 2014, after a period of several years managing acquired portfolios of assets in the Republic of Ireland. After its launch, BMFI quickly became a leading player in the Irish motor finance market, consistently scoring strongly in terms of dealer satisfaction, service levels and its contemporary technology stack delivered by sister company, Fignum Ltd. Following completion of the transaction, which is expected in Q4, 2023, Close Brothers will be looking to expand their brand, expertise and product range to the Irish market.
Bluestone’s Managing Director and BMFI Chairman, Peter McGuinness, said: “We are very pleased to have agreed terms for the sale of Bluestone Motor Finance to Close Brothers. Under their ownership, we are confident the business will continue to flourish, delivering strong outcomes to the increasing number of customers looking for efficient and flexible solutions to buy a car. Donal Murphy and his team have built a progressive, market leading business in Ireland, and I would like to wish them well in this exciting new chapter. Post completion, we look forward to building a new relationship with Close Brothers via our technology business, Fignum.
Adrian Sainsbury, Group Chief Executive at Close Brothers said: “I am delighted to have agreed this transaction with Bluestone Group. Bluestone Motor Finance has delivered impressive growth and will complement our Motor Finance presence in the UK and Ireland, a strategic growth market for the group. We would like to welcome Donal and the team to Close Brothers and look forward to working together to further expand our presence in the Irish market.”
Donal Murphy, Managing Director at Bluestone Motor Finance said: “Since 2014, we have built a strong, award-winning motor finance business in Ireland. We’ve successfully developed our presence and relationships with Irish dealers, digital partners and brokers. Combining digital expertise with the personal touch has allowed us to pivot our approach as appropriate, enhance our offering and provide financial solutions to more drivers nationwide.Today we join a company with deep history and experience in the Irish and UK motor finance industry, and we look forward to the opportunities ahead of us in the Irish market. We believe that Bluestone Motor Finance, ‘the motor finance people’, being acquired by Close Brothers will enable us to offer a wider product range to both car buyers and motor dealers.”
Mr McGuinness attributes some of Bluestone’s historical success to systems developed by its technology business, Fignum, headquartered in the technology hub based around the Cambridge train station. Fignum was established by Bluestone Group in 2019 to develop contemporary loan origination, servicing and receivables management solutions to the other group businesses, and external customers. Its origination products, BlueLink and BlueSky, have handled over €3b of loan applications, automating labour intensive processes and vastly improving loan origination efficiency. Its servicing product, Boss, supports a wide variety of secured and unsecured asset types, delivered from resilient cloud environments. And it has recently launched Paycada, a receivables management system which connects to cloud based accounting packages, and improves the efficiency of accounts receivable management.
Bluestone Group was advised by Deloitte, McCann Fitzgerald and Mishcon de Reya.
For further information please contact:
Peter McGuinness – Managing Director, Bluestone Group
M: +44 7436 564 585
Bluestone Investment Holdings Limited (Bluestone Group) is an innovative European financial services business with its headquarters in Cambridge and offices in London, Sheffield and Dublin.
Founded in 2000, Bluestone employs a team of around 200 professionals and specialises in loan origination, financial services technology, consumer loan purchase and portfolio servicing. The business is owned by a mix of private and institutional shareholders including interests associated with founder, Mr Jeffery, Australia’s Macquarie Bank Limited and the management team.
Further information can be found at www.bluestone.co.uk
Bluestone Motor Finance is an innovative specialist lender providing motor finance solutions to consumers and SMEs in Ireland. Bluestone was established by the UK’s Bluestone Investment Holdings Limited (BIH) in 2014, and partners with another BIH investment, Fignum Limited, for its origination and servicing systems. Bluestone Motor Finance is an award-winning business with a best-in-class digital offering and diversified routes to market. It has successfully originated c.€450 million+ of loans and developed a network of over 650 franchised and independent motor dealers supporting their end-to-end online offering.
Bluestone Motor Finance won the Process Improvement and Intelligent Automation Award at the Asset Finance Connect 2021 Awards and was the winner of the coveted Customer Journey Excellence Award at the Asset Finance Connect Summer Awards 2022. Bluestone Motor Finance are finalists for the eCommerce Innovation Award in the upcoming Irish eCommerce Awards 2023.
Close Brothers Limited, part of Close Brothers Group plc, has been helping people to purchase vehicles across the UK and Ireland for over 30 years. Close Brothers Limited, under the trading name Close Brothers Motor Finance, work in partnership with over 8,000 motor dealers, and specialise in financing new and used cars, motorbikes, and light commercial vehicles.
Close Brothers Group plc is a leading UK merchant banking group providing lending, deposit taking, wealth management services, and securities trading. We employ over 4,000 people, principally in the UK and Ireland. Close Brothers Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250.
In the UK Close Brothers Motor Finance won the Innovation Award at the 2022 Car Finance Awards, the Car Dealer Power Award in 2023 for Finance Provider of the Year (Prime) for the fifth time in a row and was winner of the Best Business Motor Finance Provider at the Business Moneyfacts 2023 awards.
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