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Athene agrees to buy UK mortgage lender

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Bermudian-based financial services company Athene Holding Ltd has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Foundation Home Loans, a specialist UK mortgage lender from funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC.

As of June 2021, FHL had a £3-billion portfolio of specialist buy-to-let and owner-occupied mortgages on its balance sheet, Athene said.

It added that the closing of the acquisition remains subject to the satisfaction of customary conditions, including consent by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The company said the investment in FHL will be managed by the team at Apollo Global Management, Inc, Athene's strategic asset management partner, and together Apollo and Athene expect that FHL will continue to be a leader in originating high-quality residential mortgage loans, providing Athene with attractive investment opportunities in high-quality yield assets.

Jim Belardi, chairman and chief executive officer of Athene, said: "This transaction continues our longstanding strategy of working with Apollo to identify and invest in attractive businesses which add direct origination asset sourcing capabilities to our alpha-generating investment portfolio.

“We believe our investment will help FHL achieve its full potential, while being a complementary addition to our expanding asset sourcing capabilities."

Hans Geberbauer, chief executive officer of Foundation Home Loans, said: "We are delighted to partner with Athene and Apollo for the next phase of growth in the UK specialist lending market. Their expertise and funding capacity will greatly enhance our position in the market."

Kevin Crowe, partner of Apollo, said: "Apollo has developed deep expertise in the residential loan market and we are excited to partner with FHL and its management team to help scale FHL's platform, further positioning it as a leading originator within the UK buy-to-let market."

Christopher Hojlo, partner of Apollo, added: "We expect that FHL will contribute high-quality assets to Athene's residential mortgage portfolio of loans and structured securities, which exceeded $13 billion of net invested assets as of March 31, 2021 and exhibits a strong yield profile that is indicative of the alpha generation the asset class can offer."

Jim Belardi, Chairman and CEO of Athene

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Published July 19, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated July 19, 2021 at 7:54 am)

Athene agrees to buy UK mortgage lender

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