Hadrian’s Wall Secured Investments has completed an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, raising £80 million (€104 million; $117 million) and becoming the first main market IPO of an investment company on the exchange this year.
The company will use the capital raised to invest primarily in UK commercial loans secured by a range of assets including equipment, plant and machinery, real estate and trade receivables.
Hadrian’s Wall chairman David Warr said the capital raising had “attracted a broad investor base of institutional investors as well as investors from the wealth management and adviser communities”.
He added: “It is encouraging to see such a strong appetite for a company centred on SME lending in the UK; we believe it is complementary to other listed investment companies that are focused on large business loans or unsecured consumer and small business segments of the market.”
Marc Bajer, chairman of Hadrian’s Wall Capital, said he believed the secured SME lending market in the UK to be “under-served due to continuing disintermediation within the financial sector”.
Bajer was at the helm of Hadrian’s Wall when it attempted to raise a pioneering infrastructure debt fund, an effort which was wound up in July 2013 when the firm handed around £150 million back to investors.
“Due to the shortage of investment opportunities, the current competitive environment, falling interest rates and tightening credit spreads, I did not feel the fund would be able to deliver its targeted returns to investors,” said Bajer at the time.
Before founding Hadrian’s Wall, Bajer was CEO of Assured Guaranty UK, a provider of municipal bond insurance and financial guarantees for infrastructure and structured financings.
The IPO was advised by law firm Carey Olsen.