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White Oak UK, the alternative finance provider for SMEs, has acquired Dublin-based Growcap Finance.

Growcap provides working capital and trade finance solutions to the SME market in both the UK and Ireland.

The acquisition will provide White Oak UK’s 13,000 clients throughout the UK and Ireland with a wider product range, including trade finance.

A recent survey of White Oak UK customers found that more than one in five respondents identified trade finance as a service they would like offered.

Peter Alderson, managing director of White Oak UK, said: “This is an important step in our continued growth strategy. We have been exploring ways to enter the Irish market for some time and the acquisition of Growcap provides us with an ideal opportunity to meet the needs of clients in a market that is typically underserved by traditional banks.”

He added that since 2011, 129 bank branches have closed in the Republic of Ireland and new services are needed to address the gap.

Alderson said: “As we make our first steps into the European market, the team at Growcap will bring new products to our portfolio as well as experience in new territories that we firmly believe will complement our business and our existing client base.”

The current management team will remain with the Growcap business, which will trade as White Oak IE.

Andy Beck, chief executive officer at Growcap Finance, said: “White Oak UK is the perfect fit for Growcap as we look to expand our footprint and enhance our ability to deliver working capital solutions to our clients.

“The combination of the two businesses presents a compelling opportunity for future success, as we continue on our shared goal of providing businesses access to the finance they need.”

The acquisition is the latest in a series of strategic growth initiatives at White Oak UK, including the opening of a new Glasgow office earlier this year.

Carl D’Ammassa has been named as the new chief executive officer of the business, in a move from Aldermore.