28 May 2013

Mortgage company now wholly Australian owned

9:52 am on 28 May 2013

Mike Pero Mortgages is now wholly Australian owned after the NZF Group agreed to sell its 50% stake for nearly $2.8 million to its join-venture partner.

The approval of the sale to Liberty Finance was passed at a special shareholders meeting on Monday.

The deal also includes a repayment of a shareholder loan of nearly $306,000.

The sale concludes a tussle between the two companies, after Liberty Finance tried to buy NZF because it said the cash-strapped group did not have the financial capacity to continue overseeing the franchisee chain.

An independent valuation put the price of NZF at just below $2.8 million but NZF disputed this, valuing itself at $7.2 million. However it has now agreed to sell at the lower valuation.

General manager of Professional Advisers' Association, Jenny Campbell, says brokers involved with Mike Pero will be relieved that there's now some certainty about the ownership.

She says from a New Zealand consumers' perspective the change in ownership will make little difference as the franchises will be New Zealand owned.

Ms Campbell says Liberty has shown a real commitment to New Zealand.

She says throughout the global financial crisis Liberty continued to trade and invest here and she says it is good news that an iconic New Zealand brand is owned by a successful company.