Derby mortgage broker swoops for Scottish firm in £16.5m deal

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Derby-based Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) has agreed to acquire 80 per cent of the entire issued share capital of First Mortgage Direct for £16.5m, valuing the Business at £20.6m.

First Mortgage, the independent mortgage brokers, has a strong presence in Scotland, where the Business was originally established over two decades ago. The business now comprises over 90 mortgage and protection advisers and has already commenced its expansion south of the border.

The acquisition will enable MAB to “further grow its adviser numbers and market share, in addition to its core growth plans, and will also add another highly respected and leading mortgage broker to the Group.”

MAB has agreed to acquire 80% of the entire issued share capital of First Mortgage Direct Limited from Ian Robert McGrail (Managing Director) and his father Robert Lawrence McGrail (Director), for a cash consideration of £16.5m. Ian Robert McGrail and Robert Lawrence McGrail respectively own 50% each of the Business. Ian Robert McGrail will retain a 20% shareholding in First Mortgage and remain in the Business in his current role and Robert Lawrence McGrail will be divesting in full and leaving the Business.

MAB has also entered into an option agreement with Ian McGrail, to acquire the remaining 20% of the entire issued share capital of First Mortgage from Ian McGrail between 2024 and 2030.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur on 1st July 2019.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ben Thompson, Managing Director, said: “This acquisition is central and complementary to our strategic objective to grow our market share of new mortgage lending. First Mortgage is a highly reputable, forward thinking business of significant scale with a clear strategy to deliver further strong year on year growth.

“This enables us to pursue at pace our aim to accelerate Group growth through excelling in areas of specialisation, and in particular, building on our omni-channel choice for customers. This approach best positions MAB to benefit in an evolving intermediary sector.  MAB’s new technology developments will further strengthen our capability and ambition in this regard.

“I am delighted that Ian has chosen to work with us, to help us both to really accelerate our respective growth plans and am excited at the prospect of making this highly successful and enjoyable for both teams.”