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Klarna to acquire Close Brothers Retail Finance

Theo Osborn | 13:15 Friday 14th September 2018

Close Brothers Group has announced the sale of its retail point of sale finance business to Klarna Bank AB.

The Swedish payment solutions group will acquire Close Brothers Retail Finance (CBRF), which provides unsecured finance to consumers through retailers.

The sale is expected to complete in 2018, subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions.

Michael Rouse, chief commercial officer at Klarna (pictured above), said: “We are delighted to welcome CBRF to Klarna, the complementary talents and propositions will help accelerate Klarna’s leadership in the payments market. 

“What CBRF have achieved to date in the UK is impressive, but together we can invest in realising the full potential of the business.

“Outside of the core offering in retail finance, we immediately recognised a shared commitment in building deep partnerships with our merchants, so their business thrives and an unrelenting focus on the customer experience.

“By combining capabilities and leveraging CBRF market knowledge, we are confident that we can offer even more innovative and flexible payment solutions to our merchants and customers in the UK and across markets.”

Close Brothers made the decision to exit the unsecured retail point of sale finance market after assessing the market opportunity over the past several years.

It concluded that the business does not provide a long-term fit with its predominantly secured business model.

Close Brothers Retail Finance had a loan book of £66m as of 31st July 2018.

Alex Marsh, managing director at CBRF, commented: “We are thrilled to join an industry leader like Klarna and believe this is a great strategic fit rooted in a shared mission and culture. 

“We are now focussing on a smooth integration and seamless continuity of our offering to merchants and customers.”

Luke Griffiths, managing director at Klarna UK, added: “We knew from the outset when we met Alex and his team – this agile, passionate group with the challenger attitude we love – would be a great fit at Klarna. 

“We are excited about what we can achieve together.”

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