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Mergers & Acquisitions

Latitude is buying lending fintech Symple for $200 million

- August 10, 2021 2 MIN READ
Bob Belan
Symple CEO Bob Belan
ASX-listed consumer lender Latitude Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: LFS) is planning to buy three-year old Melbourne fintech Symple Loans for $200 million.

The shares and cash deal – 38.46 million Latitude shares at $2.60 per share and $100 million in cash – will see Symple become the lending platform for all Latitude personal and auto loans, involving around 160,000 customers and a $2.5 billion loan portfolio.

If the deal is approved by regulators, Latitude hopes to expand the auto loans business into New Zealand and personal loans into Canada through Symple’s established North American operations.

Symple founders Bob Belan and Paul Byrne, former ANZ Bank execs, will receive 23.5 million of the shares, worth $61 million, escrowed for two years.

Founded in 2018, Symple has generated $53 million in loan receivables in two years in Australia and will commence writing personal loans in Canada next month.

Latitude says it will enable the company to decommission legacy technology systems to deliver up to $32 million of pre-tax synergies by FY23.

Belan and Byrne will join Latitude’s management team, along with around 20 FTE staff.

Latitude CEO Ahmed Fahour said it was an important opportunity to accelerate his company’s growth plans

“Symple’s scalable platform will enable Latitude to offer a wider range of products and product features in Australia and New Zealand, enter new geographies and significantly reduce costs while delivering superior customer and partner experiences,” he said.

“Latitude will enhance its existing strengths, including its 2.8 million customers in Australia and New Zealand, rich data, risk capabilities and funding capacity, by adding Symple’s digital expertise, agility and proven technology.”

Belan, who will remain CEO, reporting to Fahour, said: “Latitude is a great fit for us as we look to take our business to the next level and we are aligned in our vision.”

Symple raised more than $100 million in debt and equity to date , including a $15 million series D announced earlier this year.

The $2.60 offer share price was the value of Latitude stock when it raised $200 million to list in April this year. Latitude shares currently sit at $2.44 in lunchtime trade on Tuesday.

The company will release its financial results on Augest 23.