A FINANCE group in Blackburn has announced a £75million securities deal to help small businesses.

Praetura Asset Finance Group (PAG), which has offices at Brownhill, has confirmed the support from NatWest Markets.

Bosses say it will enable the group to expand its loan book so it can provide up to £200million for small and medium-sized enterprises.

This follows a previous £30million in funding, from the same source.

Peadar O'Reilly, a PAG founding director, said: "This securitisation is an exciting development for Praetura, not least because it validates the quality of our loan book and the talent of our team.

"We're an ambitious company; we set Praetura Asset Finance up five years ago and we now have a loan book of over £100million."

Earlier this year PAG announced it was taking over Cheshire-based Kingsway Finance in a seven-figure deal.

The ambitious company has a target loan book of £250million by 2021.

Support for the deal was provided by EY and RM Funds, which was involved in the Kingsway buyout.