Sale of 35% stake to Investec Group

Irish Independent October 15th 2010

“A UK subsidiary of South African banking group Investec has exercised an option to buy out the 35pc management stake it didn’t already own in Irish sub-lender Start Mortgages, the Irish Independent has learnt. A Spokesman for UK sub-prime lender Kensington, which is owned by Investec, confirmed the move yesterday, but wouldn’t say whether it plans to manage Start’s loan book with a view to winding down the business. The move brings to an end the equity interest of four former GE Money employees - David Ingram, Dermot Nutley, Paul Murphy and Niall Corish - in Start Mortgages, the business they founded in 2004..............Within six months of opening its doors, Start had received €400m worth of loan applications and was reckoned to have written €100m of business in that time. In 2006, near the peak of the property bubble in Ireland, Start loaned €600m and its total loan book stood at more that 1bn by the end of 2008. The Company raised additional finance by securitising its loan book.”

Blackthorn Capital (formerly Origin Corporate Finance) advised the management team and minority shareholders on the sale of their 35% stake.

Dermot Grant