Leading UK Payday Lending business, Fortress Group (UK) Ltd acquired by US based Think Finance Inc.

The UK’s foremost Payday Lending business, Fortress Group (UK) Ltd has been acquired by Texas, US, based Think Finance Inc. In an announcement made by its directors, Fortress Group’s Kieran Moulden and Stuart Carter noted the firm has been sold to the US firm.

Fortress Group (UK) Ltd was established six years ago and operates out of Bury St Edmunds, UK.  The UK firm has grown rapidly to become one of the country’s leading payday lending businesses. Fortress is an entirely online lender, and was established with best of breed IT systems and compliance procedures to allow it to be scalable.

It has grown rapidly since formation and a recent report found it to be one of the top five players in the market, read the firm’s press release.

Fortress trades under the brand name 1 Month Loan and provides short term unsecured loans to private individuals known as payday loans as they are intended to be repaid on payday. Such loans have high interest rates but their cost compares favorably to unauthorized overdraft facilities and they are much easier to access than bank finance. For the customers they are convenient and confidential, stated the firm.

Payday lending is a mature market in the United States. There are more payday lending outlets than there are branches of McDonalds. The UK market is less developed but growing rapidly and is attractive to US acquirers as demonstrated by the recent agreement by Dollar Financial Corp to acquire Purpose UK Holding, the largest UK payday lender for £124 million.  

Think Finance is one of the US’s fastest growing private companies, with three year revenue growth of over 70%. Think Finance provides innovative financial products which provide under-banked consumers with better solutions for their financial needs combining convenience, affordability, and transparency.

Established in 2001, Think Finance has served over 1 million customers. The company is privately held and backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capital firms, including Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures.

Think Finance will provide capital to support Fortress expansion. All of the Fortress Directors will remain with the business to lead its development.

Kieran Moulden, Fortress CEO, termed the deal “fantastic,” noting that it gives the firm an entrepreneurial corporate partner to help fund its growth as the UK market develops. PEM Corporate Finance in Cambridge advised Fortress Group on the deal.

20 Jan 2011.