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Firstmac announces bid to acquire lender

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Reporter 2 minute read

The non-bank lender has announced the proposed acquisition of a Queensland-based lender, following its failed Goldfields bid.

Firstmac Holdings has announced the proposed acquisition of Maleny Credit Union (MCU), a community-based credit union with approximately 3,000 owner-members, based in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. 

The non-bank noted that the proposal needs the support of the credit union’s membership, with the agreement to be put to a vote later this year.

Firstmac also stated that it would require FSSA (Financial Services Shareholdings Act) approval from Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg before proceeding with the acquisition.

Maleny Credit Union has expressed public support for the acquisition, claiming that it would “enable the significant value built up in MCU over its proud 34-year history to be realised for members and the community”, adding that it is “in a position to achieve what the board believes is an excellent outcome and a superior offer for members and the community”.

As part of the proposed offer, Firstmac Holdings will pay $7 million for the business once the transaction is approved, of which:

  • $2 million will be paid to the Maleny Credit Union Charitable Trust to continue MCU’s funding and support of local community groups — plus at least an additional $30,000 to the Trust annually based on branch profitability.
  • Approximately $1 million will be used to pay back capital to MCU member investment share owners.
  • Approximately $4 million will be available to distribute to MCU members, meaning each will receive a payment of about $1,200 once the transaction is approved.

Firstmac will also agree to a 10-year branch guarantee designed to preserve MCU’s local banking service and provide job security for MCU employees.

The non-bank has also stated that the acquisition would provide it with an opportunity to improve its online services, develop new products, increase its lending caps and apply competitive pricing/lower fees.

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In a statement to The Adviser, the non-bank said: “Firstmac has a strong history of growing a competitive business in the finance space and is excited to have this opportunity to become part of and provide a beneficial service to the entire Maleny community.”

The lender added that it would be providing regular updates on the progress of the proposed agreement in the coming months. 

The announcement follows Firstmac’s failed takeover bid for West Australia-based lender Goldfields Money, which is set to complete its merger with mortgage aggregator Finsure, following approval from the aggregator’s shareholders.

When completed, the deal between Finsure and Goldfields will mark the first time a bank has merged with a mortgage aggregator in Australia.

[Related: Bank-aggregator merger gets thumbs up from shareholders]

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