ThinCats has announced a £160m investment from Kuwait-backed Wafra Capital Partners (WCP), which will help the platform lend up to £2bn to UK-based small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the coming years.
Following the investment, WCP will become a significant minority shareholder in ThinCats.
WCP is the New York arm of Wafra Inc – an investment firm which is beneficially owned by the Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait, an autonomous agency controlled by the State of Kuwait.
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WCP has partnered with Quilam Capital on the transaction.
“We are delighted to announce this significant investment by WCP, reinforcing their belief in our business,” said Amany Attia (pictured), chief executive of ThinCats.
“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.”
ThinCats has lent almost £1bn to UK SMEs to date. The lender will continue to serve mid-sized SMEs, while the WCP funding will support the company’s “continued expansion through both larger loan sizes and new product development to scale up the volume of lending”.
“We chose WCP because of their deep experience with alternative lenders and the flexible nature of their capital,” said Ravi Anand, managing director at ThinCats.
“To date, we have successfully raised £750m of lending capital. Now, alongside WCP’s investment, we are close to completing two senior bank funding agreements which will provide an immediate additional £500m to support UK SMEs into 2022.”
Rachid Ouaich, managing director – Europe at WCP, said that the investment firm had known ThinCats for a couple of years and had “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,” Ouaich added. “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.”