Online property finance marketplace Lendinvest has reportedly appointed advisers for a potential £500m float. Lendinvest has appointed corporate finance firm Lazards to advice on a listing, Sky News reported. It is set to appoint a syndicate of banks for a float that could happen as soon as this year. Sky reports that the banks are anticipating a £500m listing. Lendinvest’s float would follow that of peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle which went public in October.
Its shares closed yesterday at 385p, below its offer price of 440p, but up from a low of 254p. Lendinvest rejects similarities to Funding Circle, saying its lending is secured rather than unsecured and its investors are institutions and high-net-worth-individuals rather than retail investors. The company’s co-founders Christian Faes and Ian Thomas set up a mortgage lending business called Montello Bridging Finance in 2008. In 2013 they took the business online, launching Lendinvest, which then focused on the short-term mortgage market. In 2017 Lendinvest launched a business focusing on buy-to-let mortgages and has plans to target the UK’s £200bn mainstream mortgage market.
In September Lendinvest raised $39.5m (£29.8m) of new debt and equity in what it described as a pre-flotation exercise. A £500m float would net Faes and Thomas, who both have a 36 per cent stake in the company, about £175m each. Employees own 7.8 per cent of the shares, while outside investors include merchant bank GP Bullhound, venture fund Atomico and hedge fund Tiger Global Lendinvest and Lazards declined to comment.