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Capital Group takes control of First Mortgage Trust

New Zealand investment firm Capital Group has bought the management company behind non-bank lender First Mortgage Trust.

Friday, February 1st 2019, 3:05PM

Capital Group finalised a deal to buy the underlying company behind FMT today, according to industry sources. The investment will see Capital Group effectively take control of running FMT, sources said. 

Capital Group confirmed the deal to TMM Online but refused to discuss further details. Capital Group Director Greig Allison said: "It is a very good business and incredibly well run. We are taking a long term view on the investment, in what we see as a growth sector."

Allison would not confirm the terms of the deal, but sources understand Capital Group has bought 100% of the company which manages the FMT mortgage lending business. FMT declined to comment, despite repeated requests.

FMT, based in Auckland and Tauranga, claims to be New Zealand's largest first mortgage non-bank lender. It, like many other alternative lenders, has enjoyed success over the past year, as more borrowers look beyond the big banks. FMT has built a loan book of more than $600 million in recent years as it grows its customer base.

The non-bank lender was formed in 1996 by three law firms, Sharp Tudhope, Cooney Lees Morgan and Holland Beckett Law. Two others, Edmonds Judd of Te Awamutu and Edmonds Marshall of Matamata, joined later. 

FMT manages two traded vehicles, a group investment fund and a PIE fund. The group fund achieved annualised returns of 5.30% in the year to September, while its PIE fund returned 5.7% over the same period.

Capital Group is a New Zealand investment firm, with private equity, private debt, and property investment divisions. The Auckland-based investment firm was co-founded by Greig Allison and Philip Bell to source property investments. It has invested in individual properties as well as wider projects, apartment blocks, and loan books. 

More to follow on TMM Online. 

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