Fisher & Paykel could offload finance division to focus on appliances

By Martin Vedris

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Fisher & Paykel today revealed that it will consider selling its finance operation to put greater focus on growing its appliance business and boosting sales of whitegoods.

The Fisher & Paykel Finance Group of companies offers finance to individuals, families and businesses throughout New Zealand.

In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange today, the company said that following an internal review, the company’s main strategic focus will be on the growth of global manufacturing, sales and distribution of whitegoods.

Fisher & Paykel revealed that over the years it had received a number of unsolicited expressions of interest for its finance company from other businesses.

“We expect market consolidation will occur in the finance sector in the short to medium term and so the timing is right to consider our strategic options, including possible sale,” said Fisher & Paykel executive director, managing director and CEO, John H Bongard.

“Both the Farmers Card and Q Card businesses have performed strongly in the Finance portfolio. These will be attractive assets to potential buyers. However we will only divest the business if the offers exceed our internal value expectations.”

Fisher & Paykel have appointed Deutsche Bank AG as advisors through the process, which could result in a sale of the 34 year old asset which was formed in 1973 as a dealer co-operative, called F&P Dealer Rentals Limited, to rent televisions to New Zealand residents. In 1979 F&P Dealer Rentals became wholly owned by Fisher & Paykel and it was the third largest TV rental company in New Zealand. Today, the company’s financial services are delivered to over 400,000 New Zealand clients.

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