Resimac to take majority stake in NZF's securitisation operations

NZF Group has at last revealed its long-awaited equity partner is Australian non-bank mortgage lender Resimac.

Tuesday, September 27th 2011, 1:20PM

by Jenny Ruth

Resimac will buy a majority stake in NZF's home loan securitisation operations for an as yet undisclosed sum. In June, NZF resumed originating home loans under its $225 million warehouse facility provided by Westpac.

NZF has been looking for an equity partner since early last year and Resimac has been conducting due diligence for months.

NZF says a number of conditions remain to be satisfied with the major ones being the completion of a shareholders agreement "which will, among other matters, give NZF certain minority protection rights," tax rulings and NZF shareholder approval.

NZF has commissioned corporate advisory firm Campbell Macpherson to prepare an independent report for shareholders.

While the price hasn't been disclosed, NZF says it will constitute a "major transaction" under the NZX listing rules which require shareholder approval for any transaction in excess of 50% of a company's market capitalisation. NZF shares last traded at 3.5 cents, giving it a $3.8 million market capitalisation.

NZF says it expects all conditions will be satisfied on or before November 30 and settlement should take place shortly afterward.

The transaction will help shore up NZF's balance sheet. Its net equity at March 31 was $10.3 million but that was before its finance company, NZF Money, went into receivership on July 22.

Last week, NZF said it would write off its $5.1 million investment in NZF Money and will record a $10.7 million loss from discontinued operations in its accounts for the year ending March 2012.

"NZF is excited with the prospect of having (Resimac's New Zealand arm) as a partner in its home loan business and the significant opportunities this will bring," the company says.

Resimac's parent is one of Australia's most respected non-bank lenders, providing funding via its established and longstanding partners and to date having funding more than A$12 billion (NZ$15.1 million).

Resimac set up its New Zealand office last year and this is its first significant move into the New Zealand market.

Founded in 1985 by the New South Wales state government, Resimac's current 80% shareholder is Ingot Capital Management, a company controlled by Duncan Saville who is one of Infratil's directors. Other shareholders include Westpac, National Australia Bank, Macquarie Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston and it also has standby support from Perpetual Trustee Company.

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