Industry news

Grenke AG poised to publish KPMG-audited 2020 report 

1 May  / Grenke AG poised to publish KPMG-audited 2020 report

In a letter to the Grenke AG supervisory board, its auditors, KPMG, said it was poised to sign off its audit of the company's 2020 consolidated financial statements on 17 May, Grenke said in a statement. 

The audit comes as Grenke defends itself from accusations of fraud in September 2020 by Viceroy Research, a short-seller that investigates publicly-listed companies.

KPMG confirmed that evidence and required information have largely been furnished and are currently being examined. Following the endorsement of the consolidated financial statements by the Supervisory Board, Grenke will publish the Annual Report 2020 on 21 May.

Thereby, Grenke is specifying the expectation formulated on 7 April 2021, to receive the audit opinion for the consolidated financial statements in the coming weeks, Grenke said.

As also envisaged in the announcement of 7 April, Grenke will publish preliminary 2020 financial year figures on 30 April and present them at a virtual press conference and a virtual analyst conference. The respective invitations will be sent out shortly, the company said.

26 April 

Signs of UK recovery as SMEs plan to spend on business growth: Aldermore

Research from Aldermore bank indicates signs of recovery for UK SMEs, as they reveal plans to invest in their businesses in the next year, coinciding with the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

SMEs plan to spend an average of £97,000 to grow their business in 2021 and help kickstart their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, Aldermore said in a statement. 

The research was conducted by Opinium Research, between 10 and 25 February 2021 with a nationally representative sample of 1,271 senior decision-makers in UK SMEs.

Over the next 12 months, one in four (25%) SMEs will invest in their online presence, with one in five (21%) advancing their digital marketing. A further one in four (21%) will spend on new equipment and 20% will invest in their staff through training. Meanwhile, one in five (18%) plan to diversify into new products and services. One in ten (10%) will invest in greener/more sustainable activities.

23 April 

DF Capital: ‘we start 2021 in an enviable position’

DF Capital, a UK specialist commercial lender and provider of working capital funding, said it has started 2021 “in an enviable position” with “no pandemic related legacy” after a challenging 2020. 

The business, which received full authorisation as a bank in September 2020, posted its financial results for full-year 2020.  

Carl D’Ammassa (pictured below), chief executive, DF Capital, said: “The impact of the global pandemic made 2020 a challenging year for the Group.”

“However, we start 2021 in an enviable position and on more solid foundations having navigated the impact of Covid-19 well. We have no pandemic related legacy and have protected our lending franchise throughout the year. 

“Receiving full authorisation as a bank will be transformational for the Group’s profitability. We’ve seen strong momentum since authorisation that has continued well into the current year, which gives us confidence in the demand for our products and services as well as the delivery of our strategic plan,” Carl D’Ammassa said.

22 April 

CHG-Meridian: ‘the pandemic has not blown us off course’

Despite difficult economic conditions during 2020, the CHG-Meridian Group, a German-based provider of IT and finance, including computer leasing, was able to deliver a successful financial year, the company said in a statement.

New customer business proved to be particularly challenging, as economic uncertainty and supply shortages made forward-looking planning and investment much more difficult for companies and organisations.

For these reasons, lease origination decreased by 12 per cent to €1.758bn in 2020 (2019: €1.995bn).

Dr Mathias Wagner, chairman of the board of management, said: “The pandemic has presented us with considerable challenges, but it has not blown us off course.

“Our digital and sustainable business model, based upon the circular economy, has proven itself highly resilient and reliable.”

This is reflected in the growth of the technology portfolio that CHG Meridian manages on behalf of its customers, which reached a total of €7.5bn as of 31 December 2020 (31 December 2019: €6.9bn).

20 April 

Calverton to come under the Pulse Cashflow brand

Cubitt Trade Holdings, the parent of Pulse Cashflow Finance, which recently acquired Calverton Finance (and Calverton Business Support), is to change the Calverton Finance name to Pulse Cashflow, in a move designed to “align” the two UK-based cashflow finance businesses, Pulse Cashflow said in a statement. 

Pulse Cashflow said as part of the move, Calverton Finance will be changing its name to Pulse Cashflow Finance.

16 April 

FLA urges Gov’t to include leasing and plant hire in Super Deduction

The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) has urged the UK Government to include leasing and plant hire in its measures to bring tax relief for companies looking to spend on plant and machinery. 

The FLA has urged the Government to make changes to its Super Deduction tax incentives that ensure leasing is included in the 130% allowance attracted by new plant and machinery investments.

15 April 

PMD Business Finance in tie-up with Leasepath

Manchester-based asset finance broker PMD Business Finance has partnered with Leasepath, a Canada-based IT services in-the-cloud provider, to use its finance origination and customer engagement platform. 

PMD, which brokers over £150m of lending a year, said it will use Leasepath’s Intelligent Workplace to improve client relationships. 

28 January | Deal

Johnson & Johnson pauses vaccine trial

J&J has temporarily paused dosing in all its vaccine candidate clinical trials for Covid-19, including its Phase III ENSEMBLE trial after a study participant reported an unexplained illness.

The ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board and J&J’s internal clinical and safety physicians are analysing the participant’s illness.

A study pause implies that the study sponsor halted enrolment or dosing, which is a standard component of a clinical trial protocol.

28 January | Deal

Johnson & Johnson pauses vaccine trial

J&J has temporarily paused dosing in all its vaccine candidate clinical trials for Covid-19, including its Phase III ENSEMBLE trial after a study participant reported an unexplained illness.

The ENSEMBLE independent Data Safety Monitoring Board and J&J’s internal clinical and safety physicians are analysing the participant’s illness.

A study pause implies that the study sponsor halted enrolment or dosing, which is a standard component of a clinical trial protocol.

9 April

UK asset finance market grew by 1% in February

Total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew by 1% in February 2021 compared with the same month in 2020, according to new figures by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA). 

The plant and machinery finance and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in February by 14% and 8% respectively, compared with the same month in 2020, the FLA said.

8 April

Ritchie Bros joins Leaseurope as an associate member

Ritchie Bros has joined Leaseurope, the trade body representing the leasing and automotive rental industry in Europe, as its latest associate member. 

Ritchie Bros is a global asset management and disposition company established in 1958 and is listed on the NYSE and the Toronto stock exchange (TSX) with its European headquarters in Breda, the Netherlands. 

7 April 

IDS to buy White Clarke Group for undisclosed sum

IDS, a US-based provider of equipment finance, asset-based lending and factoring, has agreed to acquire White Clarke Group, a UK-based provider of asset finance software and services. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

In a statement, IDS said the fusion of the two companies would combine to create a multi-asset class secured finance technology powerhouse supporting banks, independents, OEM captives and specialist finance firms globally.

1 April

PEAC Finance acquires Barclays asset finance for undisclosed sum

PEAC (Pan European Asset Co) Finance has acquired Barclays’ Asset Finance business for an undisclosed amount, the lessor said in a statement. 

The transaction will be funded and managed by HPS’s European Asset Value Fund (EAVF).

Barclays Asset Finance has approximately 1,500 customers and total assets of £1.15bn.

26 March

Leaseurope: Total new leasing down 4.2% in Q4 2020

Total new leasing volumes reported in Q4 2020 dropped by -4.2% in comparison to the same quarter of the previous year, according to the Leaseurope Index. 

The whole of 2020 experienced a decline of -12.1%, seeing almost €100bn in new business conducted, the group said. 

11 March

GE sells aircraft leasing division to AerCap in $30bn deal

AerCap, the global aircraft lessor, has agreed to buy GE Capital Aviation Services, a GE business, the company said in a statement.

The deal is expected to form the world’s largest aviation leasing business, with over 2,000 owned and managed aircraft, over 900 owned and managed engines, over 300 owned helicopters and approximately 300 customers around the world.

1 March 

Hitachi Capital European Vendor Solutions launches Finland branch

Hitachi Capital European Vendor Solutions has announced that it will open a direct operation in Finland by spring 2021.

The company is the vendor finance division of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, providing finance programmes servicing vendors belonging to Hitachi Capital’s shareholder Groups and key Japanese manufacturers.