AIM-listed specialist independent provider of finance facilities, 1PM has announced the proposed acquisition of MH Holdings (UK) Limited, the holding company for Academy Leasing Limited for up to £12m. Academy Leasing has grown organically since its launch in 1987 to become one of the UK’s leading providers of equipment and vehicle finance.

The acquisition will allow Academy to write more of its own business from its own funds and will significantly raise 1pm’s presence in the UK funding market by providing access to a new pool of customers, including Academy’s vehicle leasing business. The move will allow both companies to negotiate reduced borrowing rates for customers from lenders.

Commenting on the acquisition, 1pm Chairman, Ian Smith said: “The acquisition of MH Holdings (UK) Limited substantially increases the size of our business and significantly expands both our customer base and our portfolio of products and services. It presents considerable potential for growth and further product development. The MHH management team bring with them many years of valuable industry experience and we look forward to working together to further enhance shareholder value.”

Mike Nolan, Managing Director of Academy Leasing added: “We are proud to be supporting British business and of the enviable reputation we have built for being flexible, straight talking and financially robust. The acquisition by 1pm will help to bolster continued growth into the future. Academy Leasing will continue to trade under its own name and we are committed to further strengthening its brand as part of the Enlarged Group. It’s good news for the whole team and business as usual.”

Mark Burgess, co-founder of CarFinance2U, said “Joining forces with Academy Leasing, a well-established and respected motor and equipment finance provider, also based in the North-West, gives us a fantastic opportunity to further develop the CarFinance2U business and take it to the next level.”

“As part of a much bigger group, we will be able to utilise greater operational resources across all aspects of the business, not least, access to more finance through Academy’s panel of additional lenders as well as significant opportunities for cross-selling and the cross-referral of customers. We now also have the potential to develop a direct customer offering to complement our existing relationships with our motor dealership network through the specialist lead generation and marketing capabilities.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close end August 2015. After completion, Academy Leasing will maintain its operations at its current base in Lowton, Wigan.