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GLI builds warchest to increase investments in AltFinance space?

Acquisitive Jersey based GLI Finance looks like it might be adding to its firepower following its purchase of equity stakes in AltFinance businesses, Funding Knight and Platform Black.  


Yesterday it announced that it was raising an additional £4.6m to finance its direct loan book to SMEs.

According to a note from researchers at City nomad firm Numis “the additional capital will be used to fund the expansion of the BMS Finance loan book [a tech funding business for growth companies] and to invest across the alternative funding platforms it has stakes in. GLIF has made three investments in lending platforms: BMS Finance (£11.6m in November 2012), a UK-based specialist private finance company; and crowd-funding platforms Funding Knight (£1.5m, July 2013) and Platform Black (£2m, September 2013)”.

According to GLIF its core strategy is focus on “niche lending to SMEs”.

But the potentially much more interesting story surrounded interim results announced on the same day as the news on fund raising. GLIF used the interim results to announce that it’s looking at divesting its traditional US corporate credit book possibly via a separate listing on the UK stockmarket.

If this were to happen it would presumably allow GLIFs CEO Geoff Miller to focus on building an AltFinance focused, SME funding group – and possibly take stakes in other businesses within the space. Another distinct possibility would seem to be that GLIF might also look to drive through synergies between its existing investments, hinted at by the announcement that GLIF would look to “work with partners [Funding Knight and Platform Black] to help build their platforms and exploit synergies between their complementary offerings”. Watch this space!

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Geoff Miller

Investor and former CEO of GLI Finance

GLI Finance Limited

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