Non-bank lending group Latitude Financial has picked up a marquee financing partnership with JB Hi-Fi, as it continues to plot a $5 billion ASX listing, according to sources.
The deal with the home entertainment retailing giant is expected to provide Latitude an earnings boost as it taps into consumers seeking interest free finance and other payment options, across JB Hi-Fi and its subsidiary The Good Guys.
It’s understood the Latitude camp pried the contract out of HSBC which held it previously. It means the lender will now have two major home retailers on the books as Harvey Norman is a long term customer.
An announcement may be made as early as Thursday.
The JB Hi-Fi agreement will likely answer a lot of questions for investors who had been expecting an ASX listing by Latitude before June 30. Many had also questioned Latitude’s exposure to interest-free loan and other products offered through Harvey Norman after the retailer posted a disappointing interim result.
The mooted $5 billion Latitude initial public offering was put on ice last month as the firm was said to have been on the cusp of a commercial deal that would prove material to 2019 financial year forecasts and the float.
Fund managers will also want an idea about whether the JB Hi-Fi contract will offset lost revenue stemming from the end of a white-label credit card tie-up with Myer last year. Macquarie Bank picked up that work.
KKR & Co, Varde Partners and Deutsche Bank jointly own Latitude, which provides products including personal and car loans, credit cards and insurance.
The business is expected to make $1.2 billion revenue and about $360 million net profit in the 2018 financial year.
Latitude’s businesses in Australia and New Zealand span 2.6 million customers.
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