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Thinc Destini gets 20m cash boost

Network looking for further 20m after injections by Friends and HBOs

Friends Provident and HBOS Financial Services have pumped 5m each into loss-making Thinc Destini with the company still looking to raise a further 20m over the next few months.

The network has also secured a 5m repayable loan from Prudential and a further 5m investment from an unnamed product provider. The remaining 20m is set to be raised in the venture capitalist sector in a deal that values the network at 109m.

Pru says the loan was offered on commercial terms and it is not looking to take any equ- ity in the firm.

Thin Destini chief executive Simon Chamberlain believes the 40m total investment will help the firm, which has an annual turnover of 45m, achieve profitability within the next 12 months. He says the main priority for the group will be getting its tied advisers to move across to the firm’s multi-tie business.

He admits the two component firms, which were given FSA approval as a merged ent- ity this summer, were being funded by debt, but stresses the success of the model means profit is now on the horizon.

Chamberlain predicts Thinc Destini will see turnover increase to 65m by the end of 2006 and funds under management reach 3bn by 2008.

Chamberlain says: “This clearly represents the future of distribution in the UK. This is why we have attracted significant interest and financial investment from major players. We have developed our model during the last four years, taking into account depolarisation and the fact that clients need different services at different times and often need to see specialists.”

Pru spokesman Darragh Leeson says: “We stand by our strategy not to invest equity into any distribution group. This is a commercial loan under normal terms of borrowing with a set payback schedule.”

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