Pepper Australia Pty Ltd (“Pepper”) is pleased to announce that it has purchased a 12% stake in PrimeCredit Limited and Shenzhen PrimeCredit Limited (“PrimeCredit”), two leading consumer finance lenders in the Hong Kong and southern China markets.
Pepper is part of an international consortium led by China Travel Financial Holdings Co., Limited (“CTS”) as majority investor and York Capital Management Global Advisors, LLC (“York”) that today completed the acquisition of the Hong Kong and Shenzhen consumer finance businesses of Standard Chartered plc.
The acquisition broadens Pepper’s footprint in Asia and includes a team of 541 people in Hong Kong and 118 in Shenzhen focusing on origination of personal loans and credit cards, with Assets Under Management of US$1.15 billion.
Pepper also owns a mutual savings bank in South Korea which originates residential mortgages and personal loans through a small retail branch network and a dedicated team of direct sales representatives.
PrimeCredit will extend its already strong Hong Kong market presence into the fast-growing Chinese consumer finance market by leveraging the existing network and local resources of CTS and Pepper’s consumer credit expertise. It will also grow Shenzhen as a hub to build into other regions in China.
PrimeCredit is the leading consumer finance provider in Hong Kong across its peer group of deposit-taking companies and other non-bank financiers. It has a total customer base of more than 132,000 and has strong brand recognition and a commitment to customer service and relationship management similar to that of Pepper.
“This is an exciting next step in the development of our Asian network. Pepper’s team will work closely with our local strategic partner CTS to provide strategic and operational advice to PrimeCredit management to further expand its microfinance business across the Chinese market”, said Patrick Tuttle, Pepper’s Co-Group CEO.
Mike Culhane, Pepper’s Co-Group CEO, added “We were attracted to these businesses because of their strong customer relationships, market-leading positions, and tremendous growth prospects into mainland China.
“We see great potential to grow them and to add to the products they currently offer."
“Our 12% stake in both businesses and management role will give us a great insight into what Chinese customers want in terms of products and services.”
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