THE UK’S peer-to-peer lending sector has moved a step closer to its first public float as Funding Circle has revealed plans to proceed with a stock market listing.
Following months of speculation, the P2P business lender announced on Monday that it will publish a registration document setting out its plans and has already secured a commitment from Anders Holch Povlsen, a major investor in companies such as e-commerce firm ASOS.
He has committed to purchasing 10 per cent of Funding Circle’s issued ordinary share capital up to a maximum valuation of £1.65bn through his Heartland A/S investment vehicle.
Funding Circle said in a statement that its IPO, if it goes ahead, would aim to raise around £300m.
Read more: Funding Circle poised for £1bn float
At least 25 per cent of the company’s issued share capital will be placed on a free float, Funding Circle said.
Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Numis have been appointed to manage the float, according to the announcement.
Funding Circle also revealed that Alcentra, a global asset management firm owned by The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, recently agreed to lend $1bn (£775m) to small businesses through its US platform.
“At Funding Circle our mission is to build a better financial world,” Samir Desai (pictured), chief executive of Funding Circle, said.
“Today’s announcement is the start of the next stage in our exciting and transformational journey.
“Over the last eight years, we have worked hard to build a platform that is number one in every market we operate in.
“By combining cutting-edge technology with our own proprietary credit models and sophisticated data analytics, we deliver a better deal for small businesses and investors around the world. I am very proud of the team and culture we have created at Funding Circle, both of which have been integral to our success to date.”