PROMINENT livestock finance provider StockCo Australia has been acquired by New Zealand’s Heartland Group Holdings Ltd, opening up additional capital to support more Australian cattle and sheep producers with a stock finance facility.
A statement on the NZ Stock Exchange said the deal (including A$1.6 million of deferred consideration payable subject to performance hurdles) was worth A$154.4 million.
Existing operational funding for StockCo Australia has been refinanced by a new two-year committed securitisation warehouse funded by two major Australian financial institutions with additional capacity secured for growth.
Beef Central first reported on Heartland’s proposal to buy Stockco in April.
While not so well known in Australia, Heartland is an NZX/ASX listed financial services group with operations in both countries and a history stretching back to 1875. The organisation says its strategic vision is to create sustainable growth and differentiation by providing ‘best or only’ products delivered through scalable digital platforms.
In NZ, Heartland Bank provides livestock finance, rural loans, business loans, home loans, car loans, reverse mortgages and savings & deposit options. Heartland’s Australian brand, Heartland Finance, offers reverse mortgages and small business loans in Australia.
With Heartland’s backing, StockCo Australia is now well-positioned to expand further into Australia’s livestock finance market, estimated to be A$7 billion. Heartland announced back on 1 April that it had signed conditional documentation to acquire the StockCo Australia business.
The acquisition of StockCo Australia was “strategically aligned and financially compelling,” Heartland said, representing a critical milestone in expanding the company’s ‘best or only’ product and channel offering in Australia.
Heartland said its focus was to build on StockCo Australia’s position as a market-leading provider of specialist livestock finance for cattle and sheep farmers across Australia, delivering capital for growth, digital enhancements to the existing product offering, and expansion into new market segments.
‘Business as usual’
“Heartland’s acquisition of StockCo Australia is extremely positive, providing us the balance sheet, appetite, desire and capital to grow the business through new clients and increased financial support to existing clients,” StockCo Australia chief executive Doug Snell said this morning.
“This is an exciting opportunity for StockCo Australia and we’re looking forward to continuing to support the livestock sector across Australia, where we assist our clients to access capital and generate profits for their businesses,” Mr Snell said.
StockCo Australia was founded in 2014, but the business has origins in New Zealand dating back to 1995. The company provides livestock finance for cattle and sheep farmers across Australia, primarily through its direct channel.
Like Heartland’s livestock lending solutions in NZ, StockCo Australia provides cashflow solutions to customers who are typically asset rich, allowing them to purchase livestock, maximise returns, and run their business more effectively.
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