The Warehouse says E-Loan became redundant
For discount retailer The Warehouse, online mortgage broker E-Loan became a redundant option into financial services after it signed its exclusive agreement in May with WestpacTrust to be its partner, says non-retail general manager Bruce Gordon.
Thursday, November 22nd 2001, 8:32PM
by Jenny Ruth
That was the logic behind this week’s "sale" of the E-Loan business to Liquid, AMP’s online financial services business, Gordon says. E-Loan was previously owned by a joint venture between The Warehouse and eVentures and the latest transaction is the third time it has changed hands in just over a year.
Because of the WestpacTrust agreement, "we couldn’t maintain that investment. We needed to move it to someone who could maintain and grow the business, someone who’s a specialist in the online space," Gordon says.
Back in December last year when The Warehouse bought into E-Loan, Gordon’s view was that a stand-alone e-commerce business trying to build brand profile and hoping the large number of site visitors would turn into profitable customers in the future wasn’t a sustainable business model.
Back then, The Warehouse wasn’t saying what, if anything, its E-Loan stake cost it (a large part of E-Loan’s expected source of cash dried up when the tech sector crashed), so it isn’t surprising Gordon won’t be drawn on that subject now.
The retailer hadn’t been actively hawking the business and the sale to Liquid is "just an opportune transaction," he says.
Nor would he say whether E-Loan is profitable. "We don’t disclose specific information on a subsidiary," Gordon says.
So far, The Warehouse’s deal with WestpacTrust has resulted in two credit card and some insurance offerings to the retailer’s customers.
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