SKIPTON-based HML - one of the town's biggest employers - has been sold by Skipton Building Society for £47.5 million.

It follows a 30-year period in which HML grew to become one of Europe’s leading third party mortgage administrators.

Contracts have been exchanged with Computershare Limited, a UK subsidiary of the Australian Stock Exchange-listed global market leader in transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications.

The sale is subject to approval by the FCA.

HML’s head office will remain in Skipton and will continue to be led by Andrew Jones.

For HML,the sale marks the start of a new era which will enable it to better capitalise on developing market opportunities and, for Skipton, it enables the building society to further focus on growing its core business of mortgages and savings and investing in the products and services offered to members.

HML employs 1,300 people across four sites, with 800 based in Skipton.

Andrew Jones, chief executive officer of HML, said: “I am delighted that HML and Computershare will be working together, and Computershare becoming our parent company is excellent news for the business and those who work at HML.

“Computershare is committed to investing in and growing HML, allowing us to continue to be the leading third-party mortgage administration company in the UK and Ireland. With the desire to grow the business and develop the specialist expertise that HML has, it’s clear to me that culturally we are much aligned with Computershare.

“HML has had 25 years of successfully delivering value to clients, customers, our people and Skipton Building Society and this deal will secure the future of the company for many more years to come.”

Skipton Group chief executive David Cutter said: “HML has been a major success story for Skipton of which we are very proud.

"However, we anticipate major growth opportunities arising in the mortgage outsourcing market which are best seized by the investment from a large multinational company. We believe Computershare will be an ideal new owner for HML and I wish all staff at HML the very best for the future.”

Computershare has a proven track record of mortgage servicing in the US. It purchased Specialized Loan Servicing (SLS) in 2011 and has since doubled the business, managing assets worth $35 billion (£20 billion).