Directors of Peterborough bank Aldermore have signalled the go ahead for a multi-million pound takeover.
The board of Aldermore, which employs 80 people at its offices in Peterborough Business Park, in Lynch Wood, has agreed a £1.1 billion takeover by South Africa-based FirstRand.
The financial services firm will pay 313p per share under an offer first made last month and which represents a 22 per cent premium to Aldermore’s closing share price on October 12.
The recommendation will now need the approval of Aldermore's shareholders.
The announcement came as Aldermore released a trading update for the third quarter of the year reporting that net loans have risen by 12 per cent to £8.4 billion compared to £7.5 billion the previous year driven by £2.4 billion of new lending.
Customer deposits over the same period rose eight per cent to £7.2 billion compared to £6.7 billion last year.
Phillip Monks, chief executive of Aldermore, said: "We set out to provide a real alternative that would challenge the status quo in banking and it’s been a remarkable journey.
"There are now 1,000 colleagues serving over 230,000 customers and together we have built one of the UK’s leading specialist banks, with lending to small businesses and individuals totalling £8.4 billion at the end of the third quarter.
He said: "The offer reflects our strong track record of delivery and FirstRand's confidence in Aldermore to continue delivering on its sustainable growth strategy.
"Through its own portfolio of leading financial services franchises, the FirstRand Group has demonstrated its ability to successfully integrate entrepreneurial businesses and we believe there is a strong strategic and cultural fit for customers, colleagues and wider stakeholders.
"With the backing of FirstRand Group’s considerable resources and wider capabilities, we will be able to accelerate the delivery of our strategy and further expand the products and services we offer customers.
"Our vision has always been to bring more competition to UK banking, and the support of the FirstRand Group will enable us to continue to do just that.”
Johan Burger, chief executive of FirstRand, said: "We are very pleased that the Board of Aldermore, one of the UK’s leading specialist lenders, will be recommending our offer.
"The team at Aldermore have built a fantastic bank in a short period of time and we look forward to working closely with them to identify further growth opportunities.
"Aldermore, under the leadership of Phillip Monks, joins our multi-branded portfolio of leading financial services franchises; First National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank, WesBank and Ashburton Investments.
"FirstRand's unique operating model and organisational culture empowers the management teams of these franchises to formulate and execute on their respective growth plans within the group’s strategic framework. This approach has resulted in a track record of superior growth and returns."