Money Shop, one of the biggest and best known short term consumer lenders has been put up for sale by its US owner after a regulatory clampdown saw profits squeezed.
Parent company Dollar UK has decided to exit the market and has put the sale of the UK operations which also include online lenders Payday UK and Payday Express in the hands of US investment bank KBW.
The company was only authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) less than a year ago, but owner DFC Global have decided to begin an auction process and have already sounded out a number of prospective buyers.
There is much uncertainty about the future of the payday loan sector following the introduction of a fee cap by the FCA.
Dollar UK are thought to have annual revenues of around £100 million from the 300 Money Shop branches and also other pawnbroking brands owned such as Suttons & Robertsons and Robert Biggar.
It is unknown what price the business is likely to sold for considering the uncertain future of the sector.
The company was ordered by the FCA to refund over £15 million to 147,000 customers in 2015 after it was ruled that they were lending to more borrowers than they could afford to repay.