A court has approved FirstRand’s R20bn acquisition of UK-based specialist lender Aldermore, with the expectation that Aldermore will be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

FirstRand intends to make Aldermore its fifth franchise‚ adding to First National Bank‚ WesBank‚ RMB and Ashburton.

It plans to unbundle MotoNovo‚ its UK asset financier‚ from WesBank and merge it with Aldermore. The branding of Aldermore will be retained, while MotoNovo loans through existing funding mechanisms will be run down.

Aldermore provides asset finance, invoice finance, and mortgage and deposit products to small and medium-sized enterprises, homeowners, landlords and savers.

The unbundling of MotoNovo is expected to free up funding and liquidity capacity, which would be deployed into the group’s South African and African operations.

FirstRand announced in November that Aldermore’s board had accepted its offer of £3.13 per share, valuing the bank at £1.1bn. Aldermore’s shares surged 20% at the time.

Aldermore’s share price has currently risen to £3.13 as of Tuesday morning. At the same time, FirstRand was up 0.61% to R68.94.

Trading in listed securities and the listing of Aldermore shares on the official list of the UK listing authority would be suspended with effect from 7.30am on Wednesday and the listing of Aldermore Shares would be cancelled at 8.30am on Thursday, FirstRand said in a statement.

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