Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Access finalises deal for Florida microlender

Published:Wednesday | December 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Marcus James, CEO of Access Financial Services Limited.

Access Financial Services Limited paid US$6.4 million ($830 million) for its first foreign acquisition, Embassy Loans Inc, a microlender based in Florida, United States, which it plans to use as a springboard for further expansion.

The deal was in the works from October and struck in December, but details of the name and terms of the transaction were withheld pending the closing of the transaction. The acquisition was funded from the proceeds of a $900-million global bond which was issued by Access Financial in October.

Embassy operates 32 locations throughout Florida offering consumer finance loans that are secured by motor vehicles for periods spanning 12 to 14 months. It offers same-day loans that are disbursed through the network of money transfer service provider MoneyGram.

"The acquisition of Embassy is in keeping with Access' long-term strategy to diversify the company's operations and revenue streams into markets where profitable opportunities for growth are identified," said Access CEO Marcus James in a market filing posted on the Jamaica Stock Exchange's website, while noting that the acquisition provides "a solid platform for expansion in North America".

Access Financial is one of Jamaica's largest microlenders with a loan book last estimated in September at $3.45 billion. It's unclear how much the Embassy Loans acquisition will grow the Jamaican company as its financial details were not disclosed.

business@gleanerjm.com