Global law firm Ashurst has advised Lendi, Australia’s number one online digital home loan platform, on its merger with CBA’s Aussie Home Loans business to create the Lendi Group, a leader in the home loans broking industry. This merger revolutionises the future of home loans and combines Lendi’s market-leading digital technology and platform with Aussie’s iconic brand and significant broker and franchisee network.
Lendi Group will operate a multi-brand strategy, maintaining and investing further in the distinctive Aussie and Lendi brands while bringing together the complementary capabilities of Aussie and Lendi’s people, systems, operations and relationships to accelerate growth.
The Ashurst team was led by partner Anton Harris, counsel Michael Dearden and lawyer Sharon Liu, with assistance from a large number of partners and lawyers across the firm’s tax, employment, competition, regulatory, insurance and banking teams. The Ashurst team worked closely with Lendi’s team, particularly David Hyman (CEO of Lendi Group) and Jason King (CFO of Lendi Group).
The transaction involved the combination of the Lendi and Aussie businesses through the acquisition of the shares of Lendi and Aussie by the merger company, Lendi Group, in consideration for the issue of shares in Lendi Group to the existing Lendi shareholders and CBA (in addition to certain deferred consideration to CBA).
The deal highlights Ashurst’s leading expertise in executing a notably complex and high profile transaction within a compressed timetable. Lendi has been a long term and valued client of Ashurst and the Ashurst team leveraged its deep knowledge of the Lendi business to achieve a successful outcome.
Within the compressed timetable Ashurst successfully executed multiple workstreams across its corporate, tax, employment, competition, regulatory, insurance and banking teams, including the acquisition by Lendi Group of Lendi and Aussie, all tax and structuring advice, the negotiation of a significant long-term collaboration agreement with CBA’s residential mortgages group (RMG), an equity raise amongst Lendi’s existing shareholders and convertible noteholders to fund various aspects of the transaction, and various sale and purchase facilities to facilitate transfers amongst and provide liquidity for Lendi Group shareholders.
Partner Anton Harris commented:
“It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to advise Lendi on this merger to establish a market-leading digital home loans business. The successful completion of this transaction serves as a fantastic milestone in Lendi’s existing business and we are delighted to have been Lendi’s trusted advisers on this journey.”
The team also comprised of partners Sanjay Wavde, Peter McCullough and counsel Paul Glover (tax); partners Lisa Simmons, Tim Brookes, senior associates Sashini Walpola, Pooja Anantha and lawyer Selena Tang on the RMG collaboration agreement (funds and digital economy); partner Robert Hanley and graduates Yang Shu and Georgia Sparta (Corporate/M&A); partner Jane Harvey, senior associates Liz Grey and Emilie Maddox (employment), partner Alyssa Phillips (competition), partner Philip Trinca and lawyer Helen Yu (regulatory), partner Rehana Box and lawyer Briana Ireland (insurance), partner Kenneth Tang and senior associate Emma Malone (banking and finance).