Elliot Advisers snaps up majority stake in Enra Specialist Finance

Elliott acquired its part of the business from the lender’s management and Exponent Private Equity, which has owned Enra for five years but will now exit the business completely.

The lender – which owns West One Loans, Enterprise Finance, and Vantage Finance – says the deal “is the culmination of a competitive process that moved extremely quickly and saw several global investment companies competing to acquire Enra”.

Two members of Elliot will join the Enra board, associate portfolio manager Richard Monahan and portfolio manager Amit Sharma. The deal is subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority.

Enra founder and chief executive Danny Waters says: “In Elliott, we have found a partner that has deep experience in the UK mortgage market, and the ambition to support Enra’s continuing growth as the pre-eminent specialist lending business in the UK.

“This will be Enra’s third private equity transaction in the last 10 years and our continuing success has been made possible through the hard work of my team at Enra.

“2021 was a record year for Enra in terms of gross lending and overall financial performance, and in the last eighteen months we have upsized our warehouse funding capacity, issued our second securitisation, and we have now sourced a new equity partner to support the business for years to come. This puts Enra in a fantastic position to further develop its lending and broking businesses.”

Elliot’s Monahan adds: “We have been active investors in the UK lending market for many years with stakes in businesses such as Charter Court Financial Services and OneSavings Bank. Enra is a stand-out performer in a crowded marketplace with the size, experience, funding capacity, and leadership to deliver continuing success.

“In the last five years we have seen Enra expand rapidly from bridging loans into development finance, second charge lending and most recently specialist buy-to-let, and we recognise a business that has the capacity to deliver further significant growth at attractive levels of risk-adjusted return.

“Danny has built a business that is able to write tightly controlled credit risk at attractive margins across several different products to deliver significant profit growth. Taken together this represents an extremely compelling investment case.”

Enra says its West One lending business originates around £1.5bn of assets a year.

Elliot’s UK arm is part of US-based Elliott Investment Management, which manages around $51.5bn in assets.