NAB could purchase Wizard Home Loans for $30 million – just one tenth of the price realised by founder Mark Bouris four years ago when he sold the business to GE Money.
The bank confirmed it was in talks to purchase the Wizard brand and distribution network yesterday, with a final decision yet to be reached but discussions being “well advanced”.
According to today’s The Australian Wizard is expected to sell for such a small sum as a result of current market conditions and because it has been a forced sale.
The pricing speculation follows news yesterday that GE Money will close down the Wizard business in New Zealand after failing to find a buyer or strategic partner.
“The extreme volatility and greatly increased cost of funds, coupled with the New Zealand mortgage market conditions, mean the Wizard business in New Zealand is no longer viable,” GE Money Australia and New Zealand chief executive Mike Cutter said.
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