ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd has agreed to sell its asset finance business, UDC Finance, for NZ$660 million to HNA Group, a Fortune Global 500 company focused on tourism, logistics and financial services.
ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco said the sale followed a strategic review and was in line with ANZ’s strategy to simplify its business and focus on its core banking activities.
The purchase price of NZ$660 million represents a price-to-book ratio of 1.6 times net assets of NZ$424 million as at 30 September 2016.
“UDC Finance is a great business which is performing well,” said Mr Hisco. “We’re extremely proud of what our teams have achieved over the years providing specialist asset-based finance to New Zealand businesses for plant, vehicles and equipment.”
Mr Hisco said the purchase of UDC Finance by one of the world’s largest asset finance and leasing companies was a significant vote of confidence in the New Zealand economy.
“HNA is well placed to invest in specialist asset finance products and systems which will help UDC expand further in the future,” said Mr Hisco.
HNA doesn’t currently operate in New Zealand so this sale will maintain competition in the asset finance and leasing market which is good for customers. HNA intends to preserve UDC’s operations, offering ongoing employment to all existing UDC employees and maintaining existing customer lending.
Since its founding in 1993, HNA Group has evolved from a regional airline based on Hainan Island into a global company with over US$90 billion of assets, US$30 billion in annual revenues and nearly 200,000 employees across North America, Europe and Asia. The financial arm of HNA operates a diverse set of businesses in equipment leasing, insurance, and credit services, including China’s largest non-bank leasing company, one of the world’s largest aviation finance businesses, one of the world’s largest container leasing businesses, and Europe’s largest trailer leasing business.
“UDC’s highly diversified portfolio offers significant growth opportunities in Australasia and supports HNA Group’s disciplined approach to expand our core tourism, logistics and financial services businesses,” said Adam Tan, Vice Chairman and CEO of HNA Group.
“We are excited to welcome UDC Finance to the HNA Group family and we look forward to working with their experienced management team as they continue to support the growth and aspirations of New Zealand businesses, investors and consumers.”
The UDC sale is subject to closing steps and conditions including engaging with investors on the replacement of the Secured Investment program and regulatory approvals. Completion is expected late in the second half of the 2017 calendar year.