Winckley House
Winckley House, one of the projects supported by Amicus

Lender looks to acquire Amicus Property Finance

Altrincham-based lender Mint Bridging has signalled its interest in either investing in or acquiring struggling property finance business Amicus, although the latter has said there has been “no formal approach”.

Short-term lending specialist Amicus had been supporting projects in the region including an office-to-residential conversion on Preston’s Winckley Square by developer Ladson, and Novo’s Albert Vaults project in Salford.

Amicus has an office in Manchester but this operation is now being wound down. According to finance publication Bridging & Commercial, Amicus failed to work out a deal with an investor to support the business over the weekend.

In a statement, Amicus confirmed it would not be able to continue lending, although it will continue to support the facilities currently in place.

Following Amicus’ difficulties, Mint Bridging has stepped in to offer to invest in Amicus, or to acquire its entire loan book.

Despite this, Amicus said: “Mint Bridging have made no formal approach to Amicus Finance plc and as such, the claims made are factually incorrect. Amicus is taking advice on next steps.”

Mint, which was launched in 2011, has already offered to help Amicus by reviewing any loan enquiries it could not honour, particularly loans that require urgent attention. Mint offers short-term bridging loans of up to £5m for property purchases, refinance, second charge loans, or development projects.

The company said the move would allow it to broaden its product offering and increase its client base, and it added it had “significant capital” to invest.

Managing director Andrew Lazare said, “We’ve achieved unprecedented organic growth and continue to advance within the industry.

“Mint Bridging are now pursuing new opportunities, including acquiring other lenders or their loan books. We have a powerful entrepreneurial team and our private funding model gives us the unique leverage to act on investments or buy outs when we see them. Our objective is that by working alongside our peers, we can help strengthen the industry.

“We have a lot of money available to lend and are still very much accepting new enquiries that are still able to complete before Christmas.”

Other projects supported by Amicus in the past include a £12m development finance deal for Strand Plaza in Liverpool, which is being brought forward by Primesite.

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And yet Amicus have said no attempt has been made to contact them and it is “designed to sensationalise and capitalise on the unfortunate situation”.

Egg on face for Mint Bridging and the people reporting on them.

By H