Technology

Trump adviser plots to buy Durham-based Atom Bank

Donald Trump adviser Wilbur Ross is planning a £700m swoop on on-line financial institution Atom, in a deal which might see the Durham agency be part of the ranks of UK start-ups to go public within the US.

The former US commerce secretary is claimed to be in late-stage talks over a deal which might take Atom Bank public within the US by merging it with a clean cheque automobile.

Mr Ross has arrange a shell company with the aim of discovering a business which may go public, and listed the particular function acquisition company (Spac) on the New York Stock Exchange final year. News of the talks was first reported by Sky News.

There isn’t any certainty the discussions will end in a deal.

They do, nevertheless, come months after Mark Mullen, Atom Bank chief government, stated the business was taking steps in direction of going public.

Speaking after a £75m funding spherical in February, Mr Mullen stated: “Our buyers at the moment are backing our continued development. 

This capital will permit Atom to build on the progress we now have made, and to maintain providing monetary options for individuals who need to personal their very own residence, develop their very own companies and save for the long run. It can be a basic subsequent step on our journey towards IPO.” 

Atom Bank was final valued at £435m. The business, launched in 2016, had £2.7bn of loans on its books in its final monetary year.

If the talks with Mr Ross progress to a deal, it is going to make Atom Bank the most recent UK company to go public within the US by way of Spac offers. Last year, automobile shopping for web site Cazoo and AI healthcare agency Exscientia joined the US markets via mergers with particular function autos.

Both have since suffered share worth collapses, because the markets are battered by nervousness over Ukraine and inflation. Cazoo is down 85pc, whereas Exscientia’s worth has been slashed by about 60pc.

Atom Bank may entice extra curiosity given investor urge for food in UK fintech. Figures from KPMG this year confirmed that funding in UK monetary know-how corporations hit a report excessive final year, larger than these in French, German and Chinese companies mixed.

Atom Bank declined to touch upon the talks. Mr Ross didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark, however advised Sky News his “practice has always been not to comment on rumours of transactions involving my investments”.

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