Japan’s Shinsei Bank to buy New Zealand’s UDC Finance for $480m

Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Kirsten Drew on Unsplash

Shinsei Bank Ltd said it will buy New Zealand’s top non-bank finance provider, UDC Finance Ltd, for $480 million in its biggest overseas acquisition to date and marking the latest asset purchase by a Japanese company eager to move beyond a low-growth home market.

The planned sale also relieves owner Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd of an asset it has tried to offload several times, part of a broad push by Australia’s banking sector to focus on core services like mortgages and to limit regulatory problems.

The NZ$762 million price tag is higher than the $NZ660 million that New Zealand media said China’s HNA Group had agreed to pay before the deal was blocked by a New Zealand regulator in 2017.

Shinsei said small-scale finance was a focus area and UDC, which sells auto and machinery financial products, was similar to several of its domestic finance units.

“Through this stock acquisition, and by leveraging its expertise in small-scale finance business, Shinsei Bank envisages further growth of UDC in New Zealand where the GDP growth rate is relatively high among the developed countries,” it said in a statement.

The deal value tops Shinsei‘s roughly 40 billion yen ($370 million) purchase of a stake in Taiwanese bank Jih Sun Financial in 2006.

Japanese companies have been keen to tap offshore markets for growth due to thin margins and an ageing population at home.

Last year, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group bought an asset management business from Australia’s biggest lender, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for $2.9 billion. In 2015, Japan Post Holdings Co bought Australian logistics company Toll Holdings for A$6.5 billion.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.