Magnetar to buy 66.7% of First Citizen and provide €42m working capital

Irish portfolio managers First Citizen Finance will sell 66.7% of its shares to Magnetar Capital for €28.2m (£24.7m).

Magnetar to buy 66.7% of First Citizen and provide €42m working capital

First Citizen originates loans in asset finance, consumer and non-consumer hire purchase, leasing and contract hire over asset classes including agricultural equipment finance. It operates with a lending facility from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) of €40m.

As part of the deal, Magnetar will also provide a senior secured working capital facility of €42m to support First Citizen and lending up to 2020. The companies have worked together since January 2014, when First Citizen began auto finance origination.

Chris Hanlon, founder and chief executive of First Citizen, said: “We are delighted to have concluded this agreement with Magnetar. Magnetar’s financial strength and expertise, combined with the sectoral knowledge and experience that my team brings to the partnership, bodes well for our future.”

First Citizen says the capital raised will allow it develop additional products and expand its financial presence in Ireland. The company said the capital would also drive the development of its agricultural and SME equipment finance operations.

Alan Shaffran, head of fixed income for Magnetar in Europe, said: “The company has an experienced team of professionals with an outstanding track record of operational excellence and we look forward to identifying new opportunities to develop attractive financial products in order to continue to grow First Citizen’s business.”

First Citizen it expects to increase its growth rate through floorplan finance, and expanding its additional financing arrangements.