Access buys outside loan portfolios for $1/2b

Access buys outside loan portfolios for $1/2b

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

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Microlender Access Financial Ltd (AFS) has acquired loan portfolios from two companies valued at over $500 million.

The acquisition grows the net loan book at AFS above $1.5 billion or 35 per cent higher year-on-year.

"During the quarter AFS acquired loan portfolios of Asset Management Company Ltd (AMCL) and Appliance Traders (ATL) Portfolio for a total purchase price of $504 million and realised a gain of $11 million on the transactions," stated notes prefacing the financials signed by founder and chief executive Marcus James and chairman Rex James.

It's the first major announcement by AFS since the sale of shares by its former large shareholder Mayberry Investments to Proven Investments in December. Microlender AMCL is a subsidiary of Proven.

Access made $137 million in net profit on $291 million in revenues for its March 2015 quarter or 72 per cent more profit year-on-year. Revenues at Access continued to grow up 15 per cent year-on-year. AFS' annualised return on equity stood at 60 per cent compared to 47 per cent a year earlier, indicating that it would be hard-pressed to find a better place to reinvest funds than the business.

The ATL Group sold a part of its hire purchase loan portfolio but indicated that it kept its business loan portfolio. Ian Neita, general manager of ATL, described the deal as a strategic partnership, as the team at Access and Proven have a reputation for providing innovative flexible and easy financing, he said.

"They have a wide reach across Jamaica and are an ideal strategic partner for financing the acquisition of appliances, energy solutions and commercial equipment," Neita continued. "This will allow ATL to focus on its core business of designing (solutions), implementing and providing quality after sales service to its customers."

The sale will have a positive effect on the customer experience, added Neita: "It will be a seamless transaction for customers as we will continue to directly interface with them; the Access platform operating in the back-end."

In December, PROVEN Investments became the largest shareholder in AFS through its 49 per cent acquisition for $1.2 billion, after the shares were offloaded by Mayberry Investments and other shareholders.

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