Six months after snapping up its biggest competitor, SME lender Scottish Pacific has successfully listed on the ASX.
The award-winning lender, which sees approximately half of its deals written through mortgage brokers, listed yesterday at $3.35 with a market cap of approximately $445 million.
Speaking exclusively to Mortgage Business, Scottish Pacific CEO Peter Langham said the decision to list had been in the pipeline since it was bought out by private equity firm Next Capital in 2013.
“None of the acquisitions we’ve undertaken recently had anything really to do with the decision to list – it was always on the cards,” he said. “I had a discussion with the chairman [about listing] before those opportunities even presented themselves.
“We may have accelerated the listing by a year or so as a result of the acquisitions though.”
Perhaps Scottish Pacific’s most significant acquisition to date was of rival SME lender Bibby Financial in December last year, with the combined business now employing almost 300 staff, handling approximately $10 billion of annual sales and providing some $700 million of funding to clients.
Mr Langham said the listing gives existing shareholders of Scottish Pacific “the best form of an exit”.
“For our management team, it gives us certainty of our ownership going forward in the long term,” he added.
“We’ve been running this company for close to 10 years with various owners, so becoming a public company gives us the ability to build a company for the next 10 to 20 years, compared to the three to five-year horizon that private equity firms may have on a business. We’re excited about that.”
[Related: eChoice to delist from ASX]