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Close Brothers Motor Finance name returns to Ireland after Bluestone purchase

  • Close Brothers bought Bluestone’s Irish outfit last September
  • Rebranding has now been completed ahead of schedule
  • Close Brothers previously provided finance to First Auto Finance in Ireland

Time 10:28 am, April 10, 2024

Bluestone Motor Finance has completed the rebranding of its Irish operations after they were bought by Close Brothers.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, took place last September and more than 650 car dealers and their partners will now offer motor finance under the Close Brothers Motor Finance brand name.

They’ll also have access to a wider product and technology portfolio.

The speed with which the changes were made bodes well for the future, said managing director Donal Murphy, who continues to lead the specialist motor finance lender.

‘Following the acquisition, teams in Ireland and the UK have collaborated effectively to rebrand the business ahead of schedule and to develop and launch new technology for dealers,’ he commented.

‘In a market where rapid decisions surrounding finance for dealers and their customers are so important, I’m sure this will create great confidence in the Close Brothers Motor Finance brand.’

Now operating as Close Brothers Motor Finance, the business, which is headquartered in Dublin, said it had had ‘promising growth’ so far in 2024.

It added that it was committed to expanding its motor finance offer, which it expects will help sustain its growth trajectory.

Murphy added: ‘At Close Brothers Motor Finance, we are building on strong foundations.

‘Close Brothers’ backing and resources have bolstered the combination of imaginative technology and personal service we had with Bluestone, giving us a fresh edge and momentum.

‘We take nothing for granted but are determined to earn the support of more dealers and their customers with our focused motor finance expertise.’

Close Brothers previously provided finance to First Auto Finance in Ireland – the republic’s biggest non-bank lender – for more than 10 years but finished servicing new agreements in July 2022.

At the time of the purchase, Seán Kemple, CEO of Motor UK and Retail Finance Ireland at Close Brothers, said: ‘Investing further in the motor finance market in Ireland has been a strategic priority for Close Brothers.

‘We’ve been carefully considering our re-entry options to acquire a business that fits with our values, is forward-thinking and offers a stand-out level of service.

‘Bluestone Motor Finance is the right business. We are impressed with their experienced management team, strong dealer base, leading tech capabilities and established routes to market.’

Kemple, pictured at top at Car Dealer Live 2023, added: ‘We’re excited about expanding the Close Brothers brand, our expertise and our product range to the Irish market with products we know customers and dealers want and value.

‘It’s a real pleasure to welcome Donal and his impressive team to Close Brothers, and I am excited about the future potential of working together to further grow in the Irish market.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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