Old Mutual has signed an agreement for the acquisition of a minority stake in Preference Capital – a leading local provider of SME finance solutions today. The transaction is subject to the fulfilment of various conditions, including approval by the Competition Commission. Once effective, the transaction will also grant Old Mutual an option to increase its interest in Preference Capital to a controlling stake over time.
Subject to receiving the necessary approvals, the proposed investment in Preference Capital will enable Old Mutual to partner with a growing base of SME customers, alternative distribution channels, and a diverse range of lending products enabled through innovation and speedy service. Preference Capital comprises of Cash Flow Capital, Alternative Finance Solutions trading as Bizcash, Preference Capital Asset Finance, and Change Financial Solutions.
According to the Director of Old Mutual SME, Nobesuthu Ndlovu, access to affordable and flexible funding is one of the biggest challenges business owners face. The investment in the lending specialist will address this directly.
"There is an estimated R300 to R500-billion funding gap for SMEs in South Africa, constraining business growth. Through the partnership with Old Mutual, Preference Capital will play a meaningful role in closing this gap," says Ndlovu.
Ndlovu, a seasoned entrepreneur, affirms that this investment will position Old Mutual as a leading provider of holistic funding SME solutions in South Africa.
"Old Mutual has embraced the imperative of partnering with SMEs in line with its overarching business strategy. We have done this by developing tailored solutions underpinned by fully understanding the needs and challenges SMEs face," she says.
Preference Capital CEO Jonathan Goldberg says the investment will accelerate the company's mission to build and grow the South African SME sector by providing growth finance, insurance, and foreign exchange services.
"We have always believed that small and medium enterprises are South Africa's lifeblood. To grow, SMEs need finance, which creates more jobs and greater prosperity," concludes Goldberg.
"SMEs require a unique solution that understands their constraints and funding requirements. Together with Old Mutual, we believe that we can support more organisations seeking partners who can innovatively facilitate their growth."
Businesses seeking funding are encouraged to sign up to the SMEgo platform https://www.smego.co.za/home, which connects business owners to Preference Capital’s funding solutions, Bizcash Selective Invoicing Discounting, Business Loans, Overdrafts and others. The platform takes the pain out of business funding and also provides business owners with digital tools to manage their businesses, such as invoice management and payment.
“This helps business owners save time, so they can focus on growing their businesses and acts as a one-stop digital solution to help SMEs run and grow their business on the go,” concludes Ndlovu.