Insider Media Limited, 5th August 2014, Target set for expansion following Freedom Finance deal

Private equity house SOF Annex Fund has acquired personal loan broker Freedom Finance as part of a move to strengthen the product range of portfolio company Target Group, which is headquartered in Cardiff.

Target is a provider of software and outsourced services in the loans, savings and insurance markets.

Lindsey McMurray, managing partner of SOF Investments, the private equity fund manager which advises the SOF Annex Fund, said: “Freedom Finance will be a fantastic addition to the Target Group allowing us to deliver a compelling proposition with the highest standards of regulatory excellence to both existing and new customers.

“At SOF we seek to invest in high-quality businesses operating in specialist markets with entrepreneurial and driven management teams.

“Freedom Finance and the team led by Nicola Georgiou certainly have these qualities and we’re excited about working together to build a business that delivers market-leading products and services to create long-term sustainable success.”

Freedom Finance, which provides customers with quotations across a panel of unsecured and secured lenders, was previously controlled by Rupert Webb and a private equity investor.

Nicola Georgiou, managing director of Freedom Finance, said: “We have very ambitious growth plans for the business and SOF are the right shareholders to help us achieve those targets.

“The diverse portfolio of SOF companies offer us valuable partners with which to expand into other areas of financial services using our unique sourcing platform. We have already identified a number of exciting opportunities and are looking forward to this new growth phase.”

Manchester-based Freedom Finance was established in 2007. The trade and assets of the business were bought by Moneio Ltd in 2009 and it changed its name to Freedom Finance Ltd in autumn 2013.

Prior to 2009, Freedom Finance was owned by Wilmslow Financial Services, an insurance brokerage which collapsed into administration in 2011. Moneio Ltd was linked to Wilmslow Financial Services through shared directors.

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