One of Australia’s biggest non bank lenders, Latitude Financial arrived on the ASX at midday yesterday with an initial public offering price of $2.60 per share. Shares immediately jumped to $2.80 within an hour of listing and stayed there for the rest of the day.
The IPO values the group, which operates predominantly in the personal loans, car finance and credit card space, at $2.8 billion.
The stock market listing will, according to CEO Ahmed Fahour, see Latitude move towards disrupting the Big Four banks by offering them partnership arrangements that would see Latitude’s more flexible consumer lending offered to the major institutions.
Latitude already offer a similar service in New Zealand, where they have paired up with Kiwibank, owned by New Zealand Post, to provide lending in the car finance and personal loan space.
Latitude has established itself as a market leader in ‘buy now, pay later’ interest-free lending, which will surely form a significant part of their offer to the Big Four banks.
“Latitude is highly profitable and performing strongly as the economy recovers,” said Latitude Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Fahour. “With the ASX listing we are well placed to leverage our scale, the strength of our many high-performing retail partners and pursue further growth in Australia and New Zealand, as well as new markets.”
Latitude Chairman Mike Tilley added: “Today is an important day for Latitude as we list on the ASX. We look forward to the benefits that come from having access to public equity capital markets, buoyed by the tremendous support from investors during our initial offer, which was oversubscribed. We will be working hard to ensure our new shareholders are rewarded for their faith in Latitude.”