Investment management company Elliott Advisors has acquired a majority stake in Watford-based Enra Specialist Finance.

The deal, which was announced by Enra on Thursday, is subject to FCA approval.

Elliott is purchasing the stake from management and Exponent Private Equity, which has owned Enra for five years and is now exiting its ownership position completely.

Several global investment companies reportedly competed to acquire Enra, and the deal with Elliot was decided on after a relatively quick but competitive process.

“In Elliott, we have found a partner that has deep experience in the UK mortgage market, and the ambition to support Enra’s continuing growth as the pre-eminent specialist lending business in the UK. Their desire to acquire Enra is a great validation of the business we have built over the last 19 years, and a huge vote of confidence in the strength of our future business plans,” Danny Waters, Enra founder and chief executive officer, said.

“2021 was a record year for Enra in terms of gross lending and overall financial performance, and in the last 18 months we have upsized our warehouse funding capacity, issued our second securitisation, and we have now sourced a new equity partner to support the business for years to come.”

Elliott’s Richard Monahan, who – along with Amit Sharma – will join Enra’s board, said that the acquisition is an extremely compelling investment case.

“We have been active investors in the UK lending market for many years with stakes in businesses such as Charter Court Financial Services and OneSavings Bank. Enra is a stand-out performer in a crowded marketplace with the size, experience, funding capacity, and leadership to deliver continuing success,” Monahan said.

“In the last five years, we have seen Enra expand rapidly from bridging loans into development finance, second charge lending, and, most recently, specialist buy-to-let. We recognise a business that has the capacity to deliver further significant growth at attractive levels of risk-adjusted return.”