SME lender ThinCats secures £160m strategic investment to grow loan book

The deal with US-based Wafra Capital Partners will enable ThinCats to make £2bn of loans over the next few years.

UK SME lender ThinCats has received a £160 million ($224 million; €187 million) strategic investment from US-based Wafra Capital Partners, which will enable it to lend up to £2 billion in the coming years.

The deal saw WCP team up with Quilam Capital on the deal, which came about as the result of an auction process that began in October 2020 and will see Wafra take on a significant minority stake in ThinCats following its full investment.

Rachid Quaich, managing director of Europe at 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.”

WCP is based in New York and manages and advises funds specialised in asset-based finance and real estate with a focus on sharia compliance. It is owned by the Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait, a sovereign wealth fund.

ThinCats has already made loans of more than £900 million and will now be able to combine the commitment from WCP with bank finance and other institutional money to lend a further £2 billion at a time when UK SMEs are seeking finance to grow following the covid-19 pandemic.

“To date, we have successfully raised £750 million of lending capital,” said ThinCats managing director Ravi Anand. “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.”

As part of the investment ThinCats will look to expand the size of loans it can make, which currently range from £1 million to £15 million and launch a revolver facility product for its borrowers.