Hitachi Capital UK has strengthened its business offering with the acquisition of Franchise Finance, a specialist financial services provider to the franchising industry.

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p>The transaction boosts Hitachi Capital UK’s lending base to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and franchisees, bringing considerable senior consultancy experience to the group and helping to build a profitable portfolio within an underserved market.

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p>The acquisition also enables Hitachi Capital UK to diversify its offering, by utilising Franchise Finance’s expertise in business planning and training within the SME marketplace, to create a new product offering among a wider UK audience.

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p>Franchise Finance has demonstrated strength in educating and training SMEs through its business training academy, which offers workshops focusing on a variety of key areas. The company operates UK-wide with more than 140 franchisors and their franchisees, showing particular strength in the hotel, leisure, B2B services, personal services (such as fitness and domiciliary care) and transport sectors. Over the last five years, the company has completed more than 700 deals, worth more than £32million.

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p>The acquisition marks a major move into the franchise industry for Hitachi Capital UK, providing the business with an opportunity to grow in a franchise market, which has seen growth of almost 50 per cent to £15billion in the last decade alone.

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p>Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital UK, says: “Hitachi Capital UK has delivered significant organic growth for almost a decade by ensuring we provide current and prospective customers with relevant products and services across our business units.

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p>“Franchise Finance is a natural fit for Hitachi Capital UK. With a strong market share and a well-established business training offering, the deal provides a real opportunity to enhance our offering to both existing and new customers.

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p>“This acquisition enables us to grow and diversify our business further, reaching new customers within a franchise market that is consistently providing growth opportunities. We’re excited to bring the team into the Hitachi Capital UK group and use their expertise to accelerate our growth within the SME market.”

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p>Stuart Walsh, managing director of Franchise Finance, says: “Hitachi Capital UK is a highly respected company, with which we share a common culture of integrity and dedication to excellent customer service. This deal will enable Franchise Finance to further grow the reach and value of the fantastic expertise we have in the franchise market, aiding Hitachi Capital UK’s current and prospective customers with specialist knowledge and funding that could prove crucial to their business or franchise success.”

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