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Blackstar Capital acquires Whakatane-based Asset Finance

The UK’s Blackstar Capital Group has acquired a controlling stake in Whakatane-headquartered Asset Finance Ltd.

No value was disclosed on the deal, which saw BCG increase its stake in Asset Finance from seven percent to more than 70 percent, with the remaining shares retained by existing
shareholders.

It is the first New Zealand acquisition for BCG,whose chief executive and co-founder Mark Stephens is a New Zealander. BCG said the deal would expand its global presence and help it capitalise on the significant opportunities for non-bank financiers in the New Zealand and Australian markets. BCG co-founder Daniel McGrath has joined the Asset Finance board.

“This deal is an exciting development that will deliver strategic benefits for both companies,” said Stephens.

“By significantly increasing our stake in Asset Finance, we expand BCG’s current portfolio of consumer and business finance, broadening our funding base and strengthening our global presence. Asset Finance will benefit from BCG’s experience and expertise in structured lending and deal origination strategies.”

Asset Finance chief executive Paul Elliott, who will remain in the role, told Bay of Plenty Business News that all comments on the deal had to come from BCG.

BCG was established in 2011 as a specialist trade finance firm, offering deal origination, structuring and direct lending solutions. The company has successfully arranged more than $300 million in lending facilities to a broad range of clients in 2018 to date.

Headquartered in Whakatane, Asset Finance is a finance company which provides loans to individuals and companies across New Zealand.

Founded in 1997 by Clive George, it has a loan book approaching NZ$20 million (US$13 million) and serves clients through a branch network of branded offices and partner lending agencies, mostly in the North Island.

Stephens said BCG did not intend to make significant changes to the nature of its existing business, in a report in National Business Review.

“We are impressed by the current team and will now support them in their operations. Our main focus initially is to build in scalability to the operational side of the business in order to facilitate our growth operations.”

He said BCG would be looking to develop the business development and loan origination network and planned to invest to improve Asset Finance’s positioning and competitiveness in the secured deposits market.

About Blackstar Capital Group

Blackstar Capital Group is a specialist trade finance firm with leading expertise in the origination, structuring and management of trade finance transactions in the
global market.

It provides structured loan facilities to companies, secured by the goods being traded and/or the receivables created, enabling the company to optimise its own balance sheet and trading cycles to increases productivity, profitability and growth.

It provides investors with access to the multi trillion-dollar trade finance sector through uncorrelated, consistent return investment products. Headquartered in London, it has offices and affiliates in Luxembourg, Dubai, Hong Kong, Brisbane and Auckland.

About Asset Finance

Asset Finance Limited is licensed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBZNZ) as a Non-Bank deposit taker, authorised to raise money from and issue securities to the public.

It raises funds from the public by offering debt securities in relation to fixed term deposits.

Its lending is provided in the form of a range of consumer loan and business finance solutions with loans ranging from $1000 to $400,000 or more.

David Porter
David Porter
Editor, Bay of Plenty Business News. Email: editor@bopbusinessnews.co.nz

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