The Club-listed home-collected loan provider Walrus has grown with the Â£ 8.5million acquisition of a well-established non-government online lending specialist.
Shelby Finance Ltd, a subsidiary of Morses Club, has agreed to purchase the business and certain assets of Leeds-based CURO Transatlantic Ltd under the name WageDayAdvance.
Founded in 2004, Wage Day Advance is an online payday loan provider for the UK consumer market. In 2014, the company established its headquarters at Wellington Plaza in Leeds.
Howard Smith and Ed Boyle of KPMG were appointed joint directors of CURO Transatlantic Ltd (CTL) today (February 26) and oversaw the sale.
Walruses Club acquires CTL’s existing infrastructure, including its decision-making platform, call center and online lending capabilities. Eversheds Sutherland advised the Walruses Club.
The current 205 employees of CTL will become employees of Shelby Finance. Gross receivables (before any collection arrangements), which excludes all CURO Transatlantic bad debts identified by Morses Club, amount to approximately Â£ 19 million.
The co-administrators are currently determining their strategy for CTL’s remaining loan portfolio and will contact clients with outstanding balances in the coming weeks as soon as their strategy is finalized. Customers who have potential recourse against CTL will also be contacted in the coming weeks to explain their position, and where appropriate, to invite them to file a complaint with the administration.
The acquisition was said to fit well with Walrus Club’s strategic priority to increase its online offering in response to growing demand. It adds a customer base of around 50,000.
âThis exciting acquisition of such a well-established online lending company represents a significant escalation for the Walrus Club’s product diversification strategy,â said Paul Smith, Managing Director of the Walrus Club.
âThe line of online lending products that we will roll out through the newly acquired platform will exclude any form of payday lending and the style of trading will be abandoned.
âThe loan products will fit perfectly into Dot Dot Loans’ existing strategy in terms of loan term, affordability and forbearance.
âThis acquisition, along with those recently announced in our core HCC market, strengthens our plans to build a digital platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers across the UK, whether online or at the customer’s home. “
Ed Boyle of KPMG added, âWe are delighted to have secured the sale of the business to Shelby, which is the best result available under the circumstances for CTL’s creditors and other stakeholders.
âCTL has been the subject of a significant number of consumer redress claims due to its historic affordability, creditworthiness and responsible lending practices. Over time and with the increase in the number of complaints, the financial and operational burden of resolving them has become unsustainable.
âThe co-directors will now work to realize the remaining assets of the company and then distribute the available funds to creditors. “
Howard Smith and Ed Boyle were also appointed today as joint directors of SRC Transatlantic Ltd (SRC), the UK holding company of CURO Transatlantic. SRC previously operated as a short-term, high-interest lender through a small number of high street stores under the Speedy Cash brand and stopped lending in 2017.
Current and former SRC clients with outstanding loan balances will be contacted in the same manner as those of CTL, and the co-administrators will invite submission of creditors’ claims in due course.