LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Investment funds affiliated with Lightyear Capital LLC (“Lightyear”), a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“Ontario Teachers’”) announced today that they have agreed to acquire Lendmark Financial Services, LLC (“Lendmark” or the “Company”) from private equity funds managed by The Blackstone Group L.P. (“Blackstone”). The senior management team of Lendmark will remain in leadership positions and remain shareholders as part of this transaction. Financial terms were not disclosed and the transaction is anticipated to close in the second half of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
Founded in 1996, Lendmark is a leading community-oriented consumer finance platform with 320 branches across 19 states. The Company provides both direct consumer installment loans (unsecured, personal secured and direct auto) and sales finance (retail) products to borrowers. With robust underwriting processes and compliance standards, Lendmark offers a personalized, high-touch service model and value proposition to consumers who are underserved by traditional lenders such as banks and credit unions.
Chris Casciato, Managing Director at Lightyear, stated: “Lendmark provides an important financial solution to people with capital needs resulting from unforeseen life events. With their branch-based model, they are also a part of the communities they serve, something that we believe is integral to their continuing success. We look forward to working with Bobby Aiken and the team in expanding the company’s footprint.”
“Ontario Teachers’ is delighted to partner with Lendmark’s strong management team and investment partner Lightyear to work together to take the company into its next phase of growth,” said Jane Rowe, Executive Managing Director, Equities, at Ontario Teachers’.
“We are excited about the partnership with Lightyear and Ontario Teachers’, and the tremendous opportunity it provides to expand our customer base and create career growth for our employees,” said Lendmark CEO Bobby Aiken.
Martin Brand, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “During our ownership, Lendmark has grown significantly while maintaining a strong commitment to best-in-class operations, underwriting and customer service.” Eli Nagler, Managing Director at Blackstone, commented: “We look forward to the Company’s continued success with its new partners.”
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Stephens Inc. are serving as advisors to Lightyear and Ontario Teachers’ and Torys LLP is serving as an advisor to Ontario Teachers’. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Goldman Sachs & Co. (as lead financial advisor), Barclays Capital Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC are serving as advisors to Lendmark and Blackstone.
About Lightyear Capital LLC
Founded in 2000, Lightyear is a financial services-focused private equity firm based in New York. Through its affiliated private equity funds, Lightyear makes primarily control investments in North America-based, middle-market companies across the financial services spectrum, including financial technology, asset and wealth management, healthcare financial services, insurance and insurance services, payments and processing, and specialty finance. Lightyear brings focus and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. For more information, please visit www.lycap.com.
About Ontario Teachers’
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, with $191.1 billion in net assets at December 31, 2018. It holds a diverse global portfolio of assets, approximately 80% of which is managed in-house, and has earned an annual total-fund net return of 9.7% since the plan’s founding in 1990. Ontario Teachers’ is an independent organization headquartered in Toronto. Its Asia-Pacific region office is located in Hong Kong and its Europe, Middle East & Africa region office is in London. The defined-benefit plan, which was fully funded as at December 31, 2018, invests and administers the pensions of the province of Ontario’s 327,000 active and retired teachers. For more information, visit otpp.com and follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies in which we invest, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our businesses, with $512 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on twitter @Blackstone.