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CURO Group acquires Heights Finance for $360 million

CURO Group Holdings Corp (CURO), a tech-enabled, omni-channel consumer finance company providing services to non-prime and prime consumers in the United States and Canada, said on Wednesday that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Heights Finance from private equity firm Milestone Partners for a total consideration of $360 million – $335 million in cash and $25 million in CURO common stock.

The acquisition is expected to speed up CURO’s transition into longer-term, higher balance and lower rate credit products, the company said.

Heights Finance is a consumer finance firm that provides installment loans and offers customary opt-in insurance, while it primarily serves near-prime and non-prime clients via a network of 390 branches across 11 southern and mid-western states.

Heights Finance reported $235 million in revenue and adjusted pre-tax income of $34 million during the 12 months ended September 30th 2021.

The deal’s aggregate purchase price of $360 million represents 6.5 times Heights Finance’s 2022 estimated adjusted earnings before taxes ($55 million).

“By adding Heights Finance’s established base of customers, seasoned loan portfolio and significant branch network, we will solidify our position as a full spectrum non-prime consumer lender in the U.S.,” Don Gayhardt, Chief Executive Officer of CURO Group, said in a press release.

“The combination diversifies the product, revenue, customer and geographic mix for our U.S. business and enhances our overall growth, profitability and risk profiles. The transaction brings together two complementary businesses that similarly prioritize credit, risk analytics and regulatory compliance,” the CEO added.

“We are proud of our track record of leveraging our flexible installment loan platform to meet the needs of the millions of hardworking Americans underserved by traditional credit providers and are thrilled to be joining forces with CURO to accelerate our growth trajectory,” Doug Clark, Chief Executive Officer of Heights Finance, said.

Jefferies LLC was exclusive financial advisor to CURO on the deal and King & Spalding LLP served as its legal counsel. Meanwhile, Troutman Pepper was legal counsel to Heights Finance.

CURO Group shares closed higher for the fifth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Wednesday. It has also been the sharpest single-session gain since February 1st. The stock went up 9.79% ($1.70) to $19.06, after touching an intraday high at $19.50. The latter has been a price level not seen since December 18th 2020 ($20.81).

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