Oakwood Group acquires Pepper Homeloans

Amanda Jarvis

March 22, 2006

The transaction sees Oakwood acquire the entire share capital of Pepper.

Founded in 2000 by Oakwood managing director Mike Culhane, Pepper is one of Australia’s leading specialist residential mortgage lenders. Since it was founded Pepper has achieved cumulative originations of more than A$1.2 billion (€ 750 million)
and reported originations of €241 million in 2005. Pepper has also issued four publicly rated RMBS issues into the international debt markets, the most recent being an €186 million issue launched in June 2005. The company currently employs 61 people.

Oakwood Group has an established track record of investing in and building businesses in the financial services sector. Following the acquisition, Oakwood’s portfolio comprises five wholly owned companies – Pepper, Blue Motor Finance, a
non-prime motor finance business, Spanish Mortgages Direct, a specialist mortgage brokerage business in Spain, One World Leasing, a small ticket leasing company, and a new company to be named that will later this year launch a business in the UK
mortgage market.

Commenting on the acquisition, Mike Culhane said:
“We are extremely pleased that Pepper Homeloans is now a part of the Oakwood group of companies. It is a successful business in a rapidly developing market and we believe it is strongly positioned to take advantage of future opportunities in the
Australian mortgage space. Our long term strategy is to build a successful group of speciality finance businesses that operate in high-growth markets and the acquisition of Pepper is an important element of that.”

Richard Klemmer, ceo of Pepper, added: “Pepper will benefit enormously as a result of the acquisition by Oakwood. Having grown significantly over the past five years, Pepper has created a strong and scalable platform in Australia. Stage two is to broaden originations and add new business lines. With a proven track record in the speciality finance market, Oakwood is uniquely positioned to facilitate this growth.”

The financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.

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