Asset Finance provides loans to individuals and businesses mainly across the north island. Blackstar held a 7% stake in the company but has increased its investment to 70%.
The deal marks another vote in confidence in the country’s non-bank lenders, who have steadily built market share over the past year as banks retrench in light of the Responsible Lending Code and other regulatory pressures.
Asset Finance offers second mortgages, personal loans and debt consolidation, as well as business finance. It has 16 branches across the country. Blackstar is a specialist in trade and debtor finance and asset management, with offices in London, Luxembourg and Brisbane.
Blackstar said it agreed the takeover to “capitalise on the significant opportunities that are present for non-bank financiers in the New Zealand and Australian markets”.
Mark Stephens, CEO of Blackstar Capital Group, indicated the firm would provide Asset Finance with extra firepower for growth in New Zealand. He said: “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.”
Blackstar’s investment is the latest in a New Zealand non-bank lender. In March, Bluestone Mortgages Asia Pacific was sold to US private equity firm Cerberus, pledging additional funds to rollout across the country.