The British lender Atom Bank is looking to raise around £150 million ($189.9 million) in order to fund expansion and a possible stock market listing next year.
Mark Mullen confirmed Atom’s chief executive, Mark Mullen, was in talks with Jefferies, as the principal advisers, with a view of raising more than £100m but less than £200m to “grow sustainably.”
In an interview, he stated that “we have to ensure we find the right balance between sustainability for the customer and sustainability for the company.” Sky News, among others, reported last month that Atom Bank wanted £150 million.
Mullen stated that the bank’s deposits have more than doubled since the 2021/22 fiscal year, to £6.5 billion. He stated that the bank has issued around £5 billion in loans, of which £4 billion was mortgages. The rate of growth is a concern for British borrowers, who are suffering from a rise in repayment costs due to rising rates.
Atom has already raised more than £500m from investors. The most recent was in November, when raised £30m. This would be a very rare round of funding at a time when there is a lot of concern about the banking industry in Europe and America, especially after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last month and the rescue of Credit Suisse Group AG.
Investors have slashed valuations in the banking industry, including Atom Bank. This month, an investment trust managed by Schroders Plc reduced the price of Atom Bank from around £460 million down to approximately £310 million. The Schroder UK Public Private Trust reported that Atom Bank is now profitable, and the trust was encouraged by its “operational progress.”
Atom was also supported by the Spanish banking giant BBVA as well as Infinity Investment Partners, Toscafund and Toscafund.
Atom has made the switch to a 4-day work week permanent, after a year of “transformative trial” that saw a record number new customers and less employees leave.
“Our people value it. They like it.” It’s different because it is still rare, and has become the norm for running a company,” said the CEO, adding that his firm, which employs nearly 600 people, was the largest private employer in Durham, in the north-east of England.
Mullen does not dismiss the London Stock Exchange, despite the “unprecedented” political instability in the UK that has “absorbed energy” from companies.
“We are a UK-based business.” Our customers are based in the UK. “We have no plans to expand outside the UK at this time,” said he. “Our default position is to look for an listing in the UK.”
He said that the company was preparing for an IPO in the second half of 2020 or the first quarter 2025.