Pollen Street Capital takes 10% stake in Dutch challenger bank Bunq

AMSTERDAM, July 8 (Reuters) - British equity firm Pollen Street Capital has taken a 10% stake in Netherlands-based challenger bank Bunq for roughly 193 million euros ($228 million), valuing it at 1.6 billion euros ($1.89 billion).

Bunq owner Ali Niknam said that the capital would be used to acquire Capitalflow Group of Ireland for roughly 141 million euros, pending regulatory approval, as part of its growth strategy.

"Thanks to this deal we'll strengthen the long-term sustainability of Bunq by becoming structurally profitable by then end of the year," Niknam said. "That's a unique accomplishment - an industry first to the best of my knowledge."

The Dutch company was established nearly a decade ago by Niknam, who has invested nearly 100 million euros of his own capital and had been its only shareholder.

Bunq, which offers online banking services in 30 markets, including the entire European Union, passed 1 billion euros in user deposits this year.

In a statement, Bunq said it had recorded its first ever profitable month of business and expected to break even on a monthly basis before the end of 2021.

($1 = 0.8480 euros)

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Kim Coghill and Christopher Cushing

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