Ink dry on REA’s acquisition of Mortgage Choice
THE REA Group has successfully completed the acquisition of Mortgage Choice Limited following the initial announcement to the ASX in March regarding the transaction.
This deal boosts REA’s expanding digital property advertising business’s exposure to the mortgage sector and will complement REA’s franchise broking group Smartline.
Mortgage Choice suspended trading on the ASX on June 18 after receiving court approval for REA Group’s $244-million acquisition and will continue to operate under its own brand through its network of over 380 franchises and over 500 mortgage brokers across Australia. Mortgage Choice shareholders will be compensated with a cash consideration of $1.95 per share, as per the scheme of arrangement.
The combined businesses will have a significant national broker footprint in Australia’s $400-plus billion annual home loan market with more than 940 brokers, more than 720 franchises, over 40 lending partners and a loan book over $84 billion dollars.
REA Group chief executive officer Owen Wilson commented that he was delighted to welcome the Mortgage Choice team to REA.
“We are excited to be bringing together our two strong businesses, the combination of our Smartline and Mortgage Choice businesses will allow REA to accelerate our financial services strategy,” Mr Wilson said.
“We see considerable growth opportunities that will deliver increased value to our Smartline and Mortgage Choice broker network, clients and business partners.
“We look forward to providing Australians with even greater choice and flexibility when it comes to catering for all their home-financing needs.”
Smartline chief executive officer Sam Boer added that the acquisition would provide the perfect ingredients to create an even stronger value proposition and market leading position.
“Bringing Mortgage Choice into the REA family will provide us with greater national broker coverage and strengthens our ability to help more Australians finance their next property.”
Mortgage Choice chief executive officer Susan Mitchell said they were excited to be joining REA and the opportunity to leverage REA’s vast consumer audience who turn to realestate.com.au for all their property and home financing options.
“We look forward to evolving our combined service offerings to deliver superior value across all our stakeholder groups.”
Over the coming months REA and Mortgage Choice management teams have assured stakeholders that they will work to ensure a smooth transition and integration, while delivering the same levels of industry leading service and support to its franchisee network, brokers, clients and business partners.