UK’s OakNorth Completes Nearly £730M of Lending to British Businesses in H1 2024

OakNorth, the digital bank for entrepreneurs, has lent several hundred million pound to British businesses in the first half of this year, as it continues its track record of supporting the most ambitious and innovative businesses across the UK.

OakNorth’s focus has been on “supporting scale-ups: businesses with £1m-£100m turnover that it regards as the drivers of productivity, job creation, innovation, and GDP growth.”

Research it commissioned with “the Social Market Foundation last year revealed that whilst these businesses represent just 1% of all SMEs in the UK, they account for 22% of all SME turnover and 8% of all SME employment – a clear demonstration of their outsized economic impact and the essential role they will play under a Labour government on a mission to boost growth.”

Some of the stand-out transactions completed in the first half of 2024, include:

  • Their first pan-European deal, totalling £22m to Japanese premium restaurant group, Sticks n Sushi to support its future growth;
  • A £15m loan to creative cocktail bar and restaurant group, The Alchemist, to support the roll-out of new sites and refinance existing debt;
  • A £12.2m loan to returning customer and SME housebuilder, honey, to part fund the acquisition and development of two of its latest major residential schemes in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and Maltby, South Yorkshire;
  • A £34m club loan to global, full-service digital marketing agency, Croud, to support future acquisitions;
  • A £52m loan to Beaverbrook, the award-wining and quintessentially English country house estate nestled in the heart of the Surrey Hills, to help refinance existing facilities, and fund future growth;
  • A subscription line to Palamon, a leading UK-based European mid-market private equity firm;
  • A debt facility to F1 Arcade, an operator of Formula One driving simulators, to fund its expansion.

Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance at OakNorth, said:

“The work done by our debt finance team throughout the first half of the year has meant numerous businesses have been able to pursue their growth ambitions, creating hundreds of new homes and jobs in the process. With the general election being called sooner than many had expected and a new government now in place, we expect to see a boost in business confidence, meaning the latter part of the year will be even busier.”

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