ThinCats Australia, among the latest peer-to-peer lenders to join the Australian market, is on the prowl for strategic investors as it prepares for a potential initial public offering, notes the Australian Financial Review.
It’s understood ThinCats Australia, backed by UK-parent ThinCats, is in discussions with private equity firms, credit unions and accounting firms about a strategic investment.
In addition, the publication notes, ThinCats Australia is also thinking about a run at the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange) boards.
The talk about Australia’s P2P market is worth keeping an ear open for, with the names such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and investment firms controlled by James Packer and Kerry Stokes and Westpac Banking Corp backing SocietyOne, another young P2P lender in Australia. Will ThinCats attract similar investors of this ilk?
ThinCats UK owns 25 percent of ThinCats Australia, and has completed £115 million ($235 million) of P2P loans, as well as unveiled a £50 million underwriting agreement with European hedge fund ESO Capital Group earlier this year. ThinCats Australia, notes the FR,
has a base of 203 lenders and has delivered loans to businesses at interest rates between 11.5 per cent to 14 per cent per annum. Morgan Stanley tips Australian P2P loans to hit $22 billion by 2020, while the global market would be worth $US490 billion ($630 billion).
Earlier this year, ThinCats Australia made news by introducing something new to the model: using finance brokers as intermediaries.