Wafra Capital Partners (WCP) has made a strategic investment in ThinCats, the alternative finance provider to mid-sized SMEs, of £160 million. WCP have partnered with Quilam Capital on the transaction.
Having lent almost £1 billion to UK SMEs over the last few years, the investment from WCP, alongside senior bank and institutional funding, enables Ashby-de-la-Zouch-based ThinCats to lend a further £2 billion. Following its full investment, WCP will become a significant minority shareholder in ThinCats.
Amany Attia, CEO, ThinCats, said: “We are delighted to announce this significant investment by WCP, reinforcing their belief in our business. WCP is an exceptional partner with proven experience in supporting specialty finance platforms. WCP shares our vision to deliver real scale of funding to UK SMEs.
“Mid-sized businesses are feeling more confident as the economy recovers from the pandemic and are looking to rebuild working capital and expand either organically or through acquisition. The WCP investment provides ThinCats the certainty of funding needed to support these businesses’ growth plans.
“This is an important next step for us as a lender and allows us to bring the benefits of non-bank lending to a wider universe of mid-sized businesses.”
Ravi Anand, Managing Director, ThinCats, said: “WCP’s investment follows a thorough process of engagement with the investor community. We chose WCP because of their deep experience with alternative lenders and the flexible nature of their capital.
“To date, we have successfully raised £750 million of lending capital. Now, alongside WCP’s investment, we are close to completing two senior bank funding agreements which will provide an immediate additional £500 million to support UK SMEs into 2022.”
Rachid Ouaich, Managing Director – Europe, WCP, said: “We have known ThinCats for a couple of years and been impressed how they have been able to scale the business, create a profitable platform and navigate the pandemic.
“Our capital is perfectly suited to assisting ThinCats on its next stage of growth. We look forward to working with our partners, Quilam Capital, and the ThinCats team over the next few years to support mid-sized SMEs who will play an important role in delivering economic growth across the UK.”
Kieran McSweeney, Partner, Quilam Capital, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside WCP and backing the impressive management team at ThinCats who have built a market leading platform in the SME space and one that we believe can grow materially over the next few years, supporting many hundreds of businesses and underpinning thousands of jobs.”
ThinCats was advised by Fenchurch Advisory Partners and CMS on WCP’s investment.