Bendigo Bank acquires cash flow finance firm
Bendigo Bank today announced it had acquired the cash flow finance company Oxford Funding Pty Ltd.
Oxford provides a comprehensive suite of invoice based cash flow finance solutions.
Bendigo Bank managing director Rob Hunt said these capabilities would broaden Bendigo’s ability to support the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) sector.
“These businesses predominate in the communities served by Bendigo Bank and there is increasing demand for the Bendigo style of business banking. It is important that we can provide those business operators with the flexibility to grow.
“That improves the prospects of those communities and therefore the long-term prospects for our business, too.”
Mr Hunt said that over the past five years, Bendigo Bank had made significant investments in business banking, including people, systems and product.
“We are rapidly reaching the point where we can provide a complete range of services to SMEs and Oxford joining our Group will further improve our ability to support this vital sector.
“Oxford has an excellent range of ready-to-go products that we can make available almost immediately throughout our 300 branches across Australia.
“Turnover for debtor financing and invoice discounting grew by almost 40 per cent last year, so this acquisition has the potential to add significantly to the profitability of Bendigo’s business banking arm.”
Mr Hunt said the acquisition price was based on 10 times 2004/05 earnings. Bendigo had made an up-front payment of $14.3 million, with an opportunity for additional payments relating to performance over the next two years.
Oxford was founded by Peter Ford (executive chairman) in 1994. The business, which employs 40 staff, has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and has been growing strongly over the past four years.
Mr Hunt said Oxford’s existing business and staff would be retained, with Oxford continuing to be run on a stand-alone basis. Mr Ford and CEO Ralph Long would remain with the company.
Oxford will continue to offer/sell Oxford branded products through its existing distribution channels, but will also develop a range of Bendigo Bank-branded invoice-based cash flow finance solutions products which will be distributed through the Bank.
Additional innovative invoice based cash flow finance products are expected to be developed over time.
Oxford Risk and Clients Services teams will manage the day-to-day invoice servicing needs of the customer.