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Bluestone signs funding agreement with Athena

Bluestone, with its parent company Cerberus Capital Management, has agreed to supply fintech lender Athena Home Loans with $2 billion in funding.

Alternative investment company Cerberus Capital Management LP and its subsidiary Bluestone have partnered with direct mortgage lender Athena Home Loans to supply the funding over the next three years. 

The deal is believed to be one of the largest fintech strategic partnerships in Australia.

Bluestone CEO Campbell Smyth commented: “This partnership builds on Bluestone’s foundation as a tech-enabled non-bank lender. 

“Athena shares our commitment to innovation and tailored solutions to meet customers’ evolving needs. 

“We look forward to exploring strategic opportunities with Athena to expand our offerings and capabilities.”

David McWilliam, head of Cerberus Australia, added: “This transaction with Athena is aligned with our focus on providing solutions to Australian businesses and customers. 

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“This strategic partnership brings together two complementary platforms with strong expertise in the residential home loans sector.” 

This is the second whole-loan funding arrangement that Athena has announced in the last six months, the first being with Newcastle Permanent Building Society late last year for $300 million. 

The direct lender has reportedly settled over $2 billion in applications since its February 2019 launch.  

Michael Starkey, COO and co-founder of Athena, said that its “innovation on funding arrangements supports [its] accelerated lending growth and allows [it] to help more Aussie borrowers pay down their home loan faster and capture big interest savings”.

“This deal is further validation that there is strong institutional demand for innovative funding models,” he said.

“We are excited to partner with Cerberus, a global powerhouse, and Bluestone, an innovative lender with a complementary portfolio.” 

Deloitte Financial Advisory acted as lead financial adviser to Athena on the transaction.  

Deloitte Australia Financial Services M&A partner James Chown commented, “Partnerships between established, global firms and local Australian fintechs drive more innovation and further competition in the Australian market – and most importantly better outcomes for customers.”

[Related: FinTech Australia teams with Newcastle Permanent]

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