Manchester-based RentSmart Ltd, a provider of consumer and SME lease finance and the firm behind Dixon’s Upgrade Anytime and SmartPlan service, is to significantly expand its lending following a £10 million funding facility with Santander Corporate & Commercial.
Established initially in Australia in 1996, RentSmart has succeeded by offering products that bridge the gap between a credit card and a bank loan. The UK and European operation was set up in 2003, with RentSmart’s first product in the UK – SmartPlan – aimed exclusively at SMEs. In 2003, the firm signed an exclusive contract with Dixons Retail Group and launched the SmartPlan brand for businesses through PC World Business, and the service is now offered through over 150 PC World stores, the PC World website and also via Currys and Currys Digital.
Significantly, the contract with Dixons has been extended to 2017 for both Business and Consumer leasing, while the recent merger between Dixons and Carphone Warehouse to create a joint Plc with potential revenues of £10 billion and a 1,298-store network presents as an exciting opportunity to increase new business growth for RentSmart.
Accelerating growth and profitability in the UK, a market three times larger than Australia, is the primary focus of the wider ThinkSmart group. The UK arm reported record profits of A$3.7 million before tax, around a third of overall group profits according to the latest half-yearly report, and the funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial will be used by RentSmart to build on the strong momentum it has developed in the UK.
Fernando de Vicente, Chief Executive Officer, RentSmart Ltd, said: “We have a strong desire to significantly grow in the UK as well as diversify distribution channels and introduce new products and believe this is best met by increasing funding capacity – and I’m delighted with the support and understanding that Santander has provided. We will continue to refresh products aligned to our partners’ commercial objectives and assist them in creating a differentiated proposition in their markets. There are clear opportunities to introduce our existing in-store and online point of sale solutions to UK retailers, and I’m excited by the potential of the RentSmart brand.”
David Chell, Relationship Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “We have been very impressed by the business plan for RentSmart in the UK, and have been keen to work with Fernando and the management team in helping the firm expand in the UK. We have taken the time to understand the business and develop a suitable funding package that we are confident will help it meet its growth aspirations.”
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Notes to editors
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