City of London Group to acquire Acorn to Oaks for £1.4m
City of London Group (COLG) will acquire 100% of the shares of Acorn to Oaks Financial Services (A2O) for £1.4 million.
A2O, which was founded in 2008, is a financial services intermediary business focussing on SME and landlord insurance products.
It made a modest profit of £177,000 for the financial year ending 31 March 2018 and had gross assets of £402,000 as at that date.
Michael Goldstein, CEO of City of London Group, says: “A2O fits perfectly into our sweetspot by focussing on SMEs and having a strong regional network.”
According to COLG, A2O complements its company Credit Asset Management Limited (CAML) and will help grow its lending business and that of Echo Financial Services Limited once it has obtained its banking licence.
This year, COLG acquired Echo Financial Services which has been rebranded to Recognise.
Back in May, Jason Oakley, the former MD of Metro Bank, was readying his new SME challenger bank – Recognise – to enter the extremely crowded UK market. Oakley is also the founder and majority shareholder in A20.
COLG explains that the acquisition constitutes a related party transaction under Rule 13 of the AIM Rules as Oakley, his wife Claire and a vehicle controlled by the pair own 92% of the shares of A2O. Claire Oakley is a director and is the chief executive of A2O. Jason Oakley is deemed to be a related party of COLG under AIM Rules as he is a director of a wholly-owned subsidiary of COLG.
A2O has a number of related party introducer agreements in place. These include the following companies where either Jason Oakley and / or Claire Oakley are directors: Oakland Residential Management Limited, and A2O Finance Limited.
COLG is paying an initial consideration of £1.4 million (the “initial consideration”) and a further earn-out consideration of up to £5 million may be payable (the “earn-out”).
The earn-out will be calculated as six-times the average annual profit before tax over the three years ending 31 March 2021.