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Conister Bank acquires 40% of UK-based niche broker

Manx Financial Group PLC's wholly owned subsidiary in the Isle of Man, Conister Bank Ltd., acquired a 40% stake in The Business Lending Exchange Ltd. at no cost, while separately entering into a £4 million wholesale funding agreement with the company.

Conister Bank has an option to acquire the remaining stake of BLX, exercisable in 2021, on the basis of 60% of 4x earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The 40% stake will be consolidated in Manx Financial Group's accounts at £38,000.

The transaction reflects Conister Bank's strategy of purchasing and consolidating a niche broker platform in the U.K. The deal also sees the bank's managing director, Douglas Grant, join the BLX board, effective immediately.

Cambridgeshire-based BLX, which was formed in 2006, mainly lends to startup companies and small businesses that require asset-backed finance. The company reported an unaudited profit on ordinary activities, including £51,000 of one-off costs, of £13,500 for the year ending December 2017.