BOURNEMOUTH’S sub-prime lender Amigo says “several” parties have expressed an interest in buying the business.

Amigo announced last month that it was starting a strategic review, triggering a sales process, amid a “challenging environment”.

Richmond Group, the company owned by Dorset’s richest man, James Benamor, said then that it was willing to sell its 61 per cent in the business.

The company lends money at 49.9 per cent APR (annual percentage rate) to borrowers with poor credit histories if they can find someone to act as guarantor.

But it has faced an increasing squeeze from regulators and an uncertain economy, as well as a boardroom battle which saw its chairman and chief executive both resign late last year. Mr Benamor returned as a non-executive director.

In its latest statement, Amigo also says Richmond Group has abandoned its move to nominate a second non-executive director – its head of measurement and improvement Kelly Black – to the Amigo board.

A statement today said: “Amigo has received indications of interest from several parties. Interested parties have entered into non-disclosure agreements with the company and discussions are ongoing.

“There can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made. The board of Amigo reserves the right to alter or terminate the process at any time and in such cases will make an announcement as appropriate. The board of Amigo also reserves the right to reject any approach or terminate discussions with any interested party at any time.”

Amigo had nearly 90 per cent of the UK market in guarantor loans at the end of 2017. But it warned last September that it expected growth in the current financial year to be “broadly flat” despite a 13.7 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue in the first quarter.

Chief executive Hamish Paton announced his resignation after only five months at the helm, while chairman Stephan Wilcke and Clare Salmon, the head of its remuneration committee, also said they would stand down.