Wingate has announced that it has acquired a “significant” equity interest (undisclosed) in supply chain finance provider Fifo Capital Australia (Fifo).
Fifo – which provides invoice, supply chain and trade finance services to SMEs – has been working with Wingate and its management team since the establishment of a joint venture in late 2019.
To date, the venture has introduced a further $50 million of finance alongside Fifo’s $1.5 billion to Australian SMEs and corporates.
Wingate has now expanded its ownership of the SME lender, by acquiring a "significant equity interest".
The move will bring Fifo into the Wingate Group umbrella, which incorporates consumer lender NOW Finance and recently launched residential mortgage group Orde Financial, in addition to its property and corporate debt businesses.
Commenting on the acquisition, Wingate Corporate Investments managing director Kevin Wunsh said tightened regulations in the banking system had created opportunities for alternative finance providers to deliver debt capital solutions to companies.
“The business finance market is in excess of $80 billion, and our observations of the current landscape have shown there is a strong demand predicted for working capital solutions in a COVID-19 environment and beyond,” Mr Wunsh said.
“These types of opportunities reflect the broader dynamic and demand we are seeing from both businesses and co-investors.
“Our acquisition of Fifo will ensure that together, we have the products, funding and capability to capitalise on this market and provide a full suite of debt solutions.
“This acquisition presents a significant opportunity to support Australian businesses and create further diversification for our co-investors.”
Mr Wunsh added that Wingate had recently launched the corporate credit fund, which provides corporates lending to businesses.
“This acquisition presents a significant opportunity to support Australian businesses and create further diversification for our co-investors,” he said.
Fifo Capital CEO Wayne Morris said the acquisition would enable the supply chain finance provider to grow and position itself as a “key player” in alternative working capital and cash flow finance.
“Now more than ever, there is a need for businesses to have access to the finance solutions needed to support them, and partnering with an investment house of the calibre of Wingate, we are now able to further scale our… business and help more Australian businesses,” he concluded.
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.
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